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Surface Cardiac Ultrasound- The Planes

In this small section we will be going over the spatial representation of the cuts made by the cardiac probe on the FoCUSed exam.


The ultrasound machine extrapolates a 2D image on a 3D object. If structures are not lined up correctly your ultrasound assessment may be incomplete or you may not make out any actionable information from the clips you have obtained. This is is a very visual section in which we will be using a 3D heart model and make the cuts needed for a FoCUSed exam. 

Animated Heart Model

1. Parasternal Short Axis

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           LV       Ant



3D heart model seen from different angles with scan sector interrogating the short axis of the LV. The plane cast by the ultrasound beam appears from left to right on the corresponding clip.  Corresponding mid papillary view seen on the clip on the right lower corner. RV, right ventricle; LV, left ventricle; Ant, anterior wall; Lat, lateral wall; Inf, inferior wall. 

By moving the plane more proximal from the mid papillary short axis we get the parasternal short axis at the mitral valve level and at the aortic valve level.

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Moving the probe towards the head or feet changes the view you see on the parasternal short axis view. TV, Tricuspid valve; RV, Right Ventricle; PV, Pulmonic valve; AV, Aortic valve; IAS, Interatrial septum; MV, Mitral valve.


2. Parasternal Long Axis