Anatomical M-Mode: An Old-New Technique

Scipione Carerj, Antonio Micari, Antonio Trono, Guido Giordano, Marco Cerrito, Concetta Zito, Francesco Luzza, Sebastiano Coglitore, Francesco Arrigo, Giuseppe Oreto
The M-mode (motion mode) technique has improved the diagnostic possibilities of echocardiography due to its high temporal resolution. The use of a two-dimensional (2D) image as a basis for M-mode analysis at a defined line, independent of the transducer orientation, namely the anatomic M-mode (AMM), has been proposed from the beginning of 2D echocardiography. For several years, however, this could not be accomplished due to several reasons including the limited digital memory, the relatively rough pixels of 2D images, and the low temporal resolution of the screen. The AMM has been improved by the “fully digital” machines. These are able to provide a series of digital data (direction, position, and timing) relative to any single echo received from any point of the tissue. AMM analysis, thus, can be performed in any direction, as a “normal” monodimensional echocardiogram. With respect to traditional M-mode, AMM permits a more detailed analysis of cardiac chambers diameters obtained by linear measurements, regional wall motion of the left ventricle (both at rest and during stress), and location of accessory pathways. In particular, the assessment of left ventricular regional wall motion represents the most important goal of this new technique, which results in marked reduction or even elimination of the limitations due to the subjective character of wall motion evaluation with 2D echocardiography.

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