Echocardiographic Assessment of the Tricuspid Annulus: The Effects of the Third Dimension and Measurement Methodology

Valentina Volpato, Roberto M. Lang, Megan Yamat, Federico Veronesi, Lynn Weinert, Gloria Tamborini, Manuela Muratori, Laura Fusini, Mauro Pepi, Davide Genovese, Victor Mor-Avi, Karima Addetia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Evaluation of the tricuspid annulus is crucial for the decision making at the time of left heart surgery. Current recommendations for tricuspid valve repair are based on two-dimensional (2D) transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), despite the known underestimation compared with three-dimensional (3D) echocardiography. However, little is known about the differences in 3D tricuspid annular (TA) sizing using TTE versus transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). The aims of this study were to (1) compare 2D and 3D TA measurements performed with both TTE and TEE and (2) compare two 3D methods for TA measurements: multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) and dedicated software (DS) designed to take into account TA nonplanarity. Methods: Seventy patients underwent 2D and 3D TTE and TEE. Two-dimensional images were used to measure TA diameter from apical four-chamber, right ventricular–focused (TTE), and midesophageal four-chamber (TEE) views. Three-dimensional full-volume data sets were analyzed using both MPR and DS, to obtain major and minor axes, perimeter, and area. Intertechnique agreement was assessed using Bland-Altman analysis. Results: Measurements on 2D TTE and TEE, which were view dependent, underestimated TA major dimensions in all views compared with 3D values, irrespective of the 3D method. MPR and DS measurements were significantly different, with DS resulting in larger values for all parameters, irrespective of approach. No differences were found between 3D TTE and 3D TEE for both MPR and DS. Conclusions: Our findings highlight the need for methodology that respects the 3D geometry of the tricuspid annulus, including its nonplanarity, which cannot be accurately assessed from 2D images and is not equally taken into account by different 3D measurement methodologies. Accordingly, a 3D cutoff value for TA enlargement needs to be established and is likely to be larger than the guideline-recommended 2D-based 40-mm cutoff. Importantly, noninvasive 3D TTE can be used instead of 3D TEE because TA measurements are not different.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • 3D echocardiography
  • Transesophageal echocardiography
  • Transthoracic echocardiography
  • Tricuspid valve
  • Valvular heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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