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Simpson's biplane rule (SBR) is considered the gold standard method for left ventricle (LV) volume quantification from echocardiography but relies on a summation-of-disks approach that makes assumptions about LV orientation and cross-sectional shape. We aim to identify key limiting factors in SBR and to develop a new robust standard for volume quantification. Three methods for computing LV volume were studied: (i) SBR, (ii) addition of a truncated basal cone (TBC) to SBR and (iii) a novel method of basal-oriented disks (BODs). Three retrospective cohorts representative of the young, adult healthy and heart failure populations were used to study the impact of anatomical variations in volume computations. Results reveal how basal slanting can cause over- and underestimation of volume, with errors by SBR and TBC >10 mL for slanting angles >6°. Only the BOD method correctly accounted for basal slanting, reducing relative volume errors by SBR from -2.23 ± 2.21% to -0.70 ± 1.91% in the adult population and similar qualitative performance in the other two cohorts. In conclusion, the summation of basal oriented disks, a novel interpretation of SBR, is a more accurate and precise method for estimating LV volume.

Original publication




Journal article


Ultrasound Med Biol

Publication Date



Apical chamber views, Left ventricle volumes, Modified Simpson's biplane rule, Two-dimensional echocardiography