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The study population consisted of 52 consecutive Patients with cardiac arrhythmias or dyspnea, implanted pacemakers or defibrillators, or with claustrophobia, were excluded from the study population. In all the cases, echocardiography had been previously performed, and all the patients gave written informed consent prior to cardiac MR imaging examination. The study was carried out in accordance with the guidelines of the local ethics committee: The work was approved by the Local (Galician) Ethic Committee. Informed Consent was also obtained from all patients. 
As a initial step and to define a same set of images to be used for succeeding segmentation evaluation, ventricular short axis slices were selected for analysis, beginning with the highest basal slice, as selected from simultaneous display of long-axis and short-axis view, in which at least 50% of the myocardial circumference of the LV was visible in all the cardiac phases. The frames visually showing maximal and minimal ventricular cross-sectional areas at the mid ventricular level, were considered as end-diastole (ED) and end-systole (ES), respectively. Ventricular contours were traced in every slice, for these two frames, using two segmentation methods (manual and semiautomatic). A difference of one section position was permitted between the most basal slice in end-diastole and ES due to the influence of through plane motion. Papillary muscles and trabeculae were considered part of ventricular volumes. The end-diastolic volume (EDV) and end-systolic volume (ESV) were calculated by summing up the area enclosed by the endocardium multiplied by the slice thickness, in all the slices imaged at end-diastole and end-systole, respectively (Simpson’s method).
The ejection fraction (EF) was computed as follows: (EDV − ESV)•100/EDV. Function parameters derived from semi-automatic contours were computed using Simpson’s method.
Ventricular analysis was also performed on a high performance personal computer (2 Dual-Core AMD Opteron processors 2.80 GHz, 8 GB RAM) with a specifically-designed semiautomatic segmentation method based on edge detection, iterative thresholding and region growing techniques. A brief description of the segmentation scheme is given below
Thirty-five adult subjects, including 25 patients with dilated cardiomyopathies, were evaluated by biplane and volumetric cine MRI and by biplane and volumetric (three-dimensional) transthoracic echocardiography. Left ventricular volume, LVEF and LV function categories were then determined. 
Biplane echocardiography underestimated LV volume with respect to the other three strategies. There were no significant differences between any of the strategies for quantitative LVEF. Volumetric MRI and volumetric echocardiography differed by a single functional category for 2 patients (8%). Six to 11 patients (24% to 44%) differed when comparing biplane and volumetric methods. Ten patients (40%) changed their functional status when biplane MRI and biplane echocardiography were compared; this comparison also revealed the greatest mean absolute difference in estimates of EF for those subjects whose EF functional category had changed.
Volumetric MRI and volumetric echocardiographic measures of LV volume and LVEF agree well and give similar results when used to stratify patients with dilated cardiomyopathy according to systolic function. Agreement is poor between biplane and volumetric methods and worse between biplane methods, which assigned 40% of patients to different categories according to LVEF. The choice of imaging method (volumetric or biplane) has a greater impact on the results than does the choice of imaging modality (echocardiography or MRI) when measuring LV volume and systolic function. 
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