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Open access

Adrienn Tarr, Stephan Stoebe, Jan Tuennemann, Zsuzsanna Baka, Dietrich Pfeiffer, Albert Varga and Andreas Hagendorff

The aim of the present study was to find out whether early cardiac changes in patients receiving chemotherapy can be detected by the conventional and deformation parameters of 2D and 3D echocardiography. Twenty-five healthy subjects with normal regional left ventricular function (group 1) and 25 patients receiving chemotherapy (group 2) underwent 2D and 3D transthoracic echocardiography (Toshiba Artida Medical System). All patients (group 2) were examined before and during cardiotoxic chemotherapy at a 3-month follow-up. Left ventricular volumes, ejection fraction, muscle mass, global longitudinal, global radial, global circumferential strain, and rotation were analyzed with 2D and 3D echocardiography, while twist and time-to-peak-intervals were analyzed with 3D echocardiography. For left ventricular volumes and muscle mass, no significant differences were seen between the two study groups (P<0.05). According to our results, myocardial dysfunction induced by cardiotoxic chemotherapy can be detected by 2D global radial strain. Detecting myocardial dysfunction by global longitudinal and circumferential strain requires more than 3 months follow-up. Changes in rotation, twist or time-to-peak intervals could not be verified at the 3-month follow-up in the present study. 2D global radial strain seems to be the most sensitive and robust parameter to detect early myocardial damage during chemotherapy. 3D echocardiography is not yet an established method to detect myocardial damage in clinical practice due to lower spatial and temporal resolution.

Open access

Tudor Trache, Stephan Stöbe, Adrienn Tarr, Dietrich Pfeiffer and Andreas Hagendorff

Comparison of 3D and 2D speckle tracking performed on standard 2D and triplane 2D datasets of normal and pathological left ventricular (LV) wall-motion patterns with a focus on the effect that 3D volume rate (3DVR), image quality and tracking artifacts have on the agreement between 2D and 3D speckle tracking. 37 patients with normal LV function and 18 patients with ischaemic wall-motion abnormalities underwent 2D and 3D echocardiography, followed by offline speckle tracking measurements. The values of 3D global, regional and segmental strain were compared with the standard 2D and triplane 2D strain values. Correlation analysis with the LV ejection fraction (LVEF) was also performed. The 3D and 2D global strain values correlated good in both normally and abnormally contracting hearts, though systematic differences between the two methods were observed. Of the 3D strain parameters, the area strain showed the best correlation with the LVEF. The numerical agreement of 3D and 2D analyses varied significantly with the volume rate and image quality of the 3D datasets. The highest correlation between 2D and 3D peak systolic strain values was found between 3D area and standard 2D longitudinal strain. Regional wall-motion abnormalities were similarly detected by 2D and 3D speckle tracking. 2DST of triplane datasets showed similar results to those of conventional 2D datasets. 2D and 3D speckle tracking similarly detect normal and pathological wall-motion patterns. Limited image quality has a significant impact on the agreement between 3D and 2D numerical strain values.

Open access

Riëtte Du Toit, Phillip G Herbst, Annari van Rensburg, Hendrik W Snyman, Helmuth Reuter and Anton F Doubell

Aims

Lupus myocarditis occurs in 5–10% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). No single feature is diagnostic of lupus myocarditis. Speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) can detect subclinical left ventricular dysfunction in SLE patients, with limited research on its utility in clinical lupus myocarditis. We report on STE in comparison to conventional echocardiography in patients with clinical lupus myocarditis.

Methods and results

A retrospective study was done at a tertiary referral hospital in South Africa. SLE patients with lupus myocarditis were included and compared to healthy controls. Echocardiographic images were reanalyzed, including global longitudinal strain through STE. A poor echocardiographic outcome was defined as final left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) <40%. 28 SLE patients fulfilled the criteria. Global longitudinal strain correlated with global (LVEF: r = −0.808; P = 0.001) and regional (wall motion score: r = 0.715; P < 0.001) function. In patients presenting with a LVEF ≥50%, global longitudinal strain (P = 0.023), wall motion score (P = 0.005) and diastolic function (P = 0.004) were significantly impaired vs controls. Following treatment, LVEF (35–47% (P = 0.023)) and wall motion score (1.88–1.5 (P = 0.017)) improved but not global longitudinal strain. Initial LVEF (34%; P = 0.046) and global longitudinal strain (−9.5%; P = 0.095) were lower in patients with a final LVEF <40%.

Conclusions

This is the first known report on STE in a series of patients with clinical lupus myocarditis. Global longitudinal strain correlated with regional and global left ventricular function. Global longitudinal strain, wall motion score and diastolic parameters may be more sensitive markers of lupus myocarditis in patients presenting with a preserved LVEF ≥50%. A poor initial LVEF and global longitudinal strain were associated with a persistent LVEF <40%. Echocardiography is a non-invasive tool with diagnostic and prognostic value in lupus myocarditis.

Open access

Anne Ringle, Anne Dornhorst, Michaela B Rehman, Cristina Ruisanchez and Petros Nihoyannopoulos

Background

We sought to assess the long-term evolution of left ventricular (LV) function using two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) for the detection of preclinical diabetic cardiomyopathy, in asymptomatic type 1 diabetic patients, over a 6-year follow-up.

Design and methods

Sixty-six asymptomatic type 1 diabetic patients with no cardiovascular risk factors were compared to 26 matched healthy controls. Conventional, 2D and 3D-STE were performed at baseline. A subgroup of 14 patients underwent a 6-year follow-up evaluation.

Results

At baseline, diabetic patients had similar LV ejection fraction (60 vs 61%; P = NS), but impaired longitudinal function, as assessed by 2D-global longitudinal strain (GLS) (−18.9 ± 2 vs −20.5 ± 2; P = 0.0002) and 3D-GLS (−17.5 ± 2 vs −19 ± 2; P = 0.003). At follow-up, diabetic patients had worsened longitudinal function compared to baseline (2D-GLS: −18.4 ± 1 vs −19.2 ± 1; P = 0.03). Global circumferential (GCS) and radial (GRS) strains were unchanged at baseline and during follow-up. Metabolic status did not correlate with GLS, whereas GCS and GRS showed a good correlation, suggestive of a compensatory increase of circumferential and radial functions in advanced stages of the disease – long-term diabetes (GCS: −26 ± 3 vs −23.3 ± 3; P = 0.008) and in the presence of microvascular complications (GRS: 38.8 ± 9 vs 34.3 ± 8; P = 0.04).

Conclusions

Subclinical myocardial dysfunction can be detected by 2D and 3D-STE in type 1 diabetic patients, independently of any other cardiovascular risk factors. Diabetic cardiomyopathy progression was suggested by a mild decrease in longitudinal function at the follow-up, but did not extend to a clinical expression of the disease, as no death or over heart failure was reported.

Open access

Nicola Gaibazzi, Filippo Pigazzani, Claudio Reverberi and Thomas R Porter

Myocardium subtended by obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) may show reduced left ventricle (LV) global longitudinal strain (GLS), as well as early systolic lengthening (ESL) before shortening; these can be measured at rest and may predict obstructive CAD. This study investigated whether baseline resting LV longitudinal strain measurements may be able to detect significant CAD in patients undergoing stress echocardiography (SE) and coronary angiography, who have normal resting wall motion. We selected patients with a clinical indication of coronary angiography who were previously referred for SE. Patients with known CAD, rest wall-motion (WM) abnormalities, or rhythm/conduction abnormalities were excluded. Speckle tracking strain analyses were retrospectively performed on digitally archived 2D video-loops, using vendor independent software. Peak GLS and duration of ESL were recorded. Diagnostic accuracy of each parameter to predict obstructive (≥50%) CAD was assessed and multivariate logistic regression models fitted and compared. Eighty-two patients were enrolled and 49 had significant CAD by quantitative angiography. Patients with CAD were more often male (P=0.01) and more frequently presented with typical angina (P<0.01). Among rest and stress variables, GLS showed a Youden index of 0.665, while SE WM assessment showed a Youden index of 0.599. These were the only two parameters that remained predictive in multivariate analyses. In conclusion, rest GLS demonstrated comparable accuracy with stress-echo data for prediction of angiographically obstructive CAD; it also added significant CAD prediction when combined with clinical data, similar to SE WM assessment.

Open access

Alexandros P Patrianakos, Aggeliki A Zacharaki, Antonios Kalogerakis, Georgios Solidakis, Fragiskos I Parthenakis and Panos E Vardas

To compare the peak global longitudinal myocardial strain (PGLS) and peak segmental longitudinal myocardial strain (PSLS) values by speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) obtained using two different echocardiography devices. STE is an emerging quantitative ultrasound technique that allows an accurate evaluation of global and segmental myocardial function. However, there is a lack of standardization of the acquired data among different manufacturers. Sixty-three subjects, mean age 56.2±10.4 years, underwent complete echocardiographic studies with two different devices (Philips IE33 and General Electric VIVID E9) performed by the same operator. Thirty-one of them had known cardiac disease, with estimated left ventricular ejection fraction <50%, while 32 were free of any cardiovascular disease (control subjects). All images were digitally stored and analyzed using off-line post processing with QLAB 9 and EchoPAC 11 Software packages. PSLS and PGLS were calculated. A strong relationship between QLAB and EchoPAC was found for PGLS (r=0.91, P<0.001), PSLS-4 chamber (CH; r=0.79, P<0.001), PSLS-2CH (r=0.73, P<0.001), and PSLS-3CH (r=0.78, P<0.001) QLAB. Bland–Altman analysis showed absolute differences vs average of −0.16, −0.37, −0.21, and −0.16 for PGLS, PSLS-4CH, PSLS-2CH, and PSLS-apical long-axis views respectively. Segmental analysis showed a good agreement between the apical segments, whereas poor correlations were found for the basal segments. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis showed that cutoff values for PGLS of −17.5 and −17.75% with Philips or GE systems gave a sensitivity and specificity of 93.5 and 87.5%, and 90 and 87.5%, respectively, in the discrimination of the patients from the controls. Both Philips and GE echo stations were found to give comparable results for PGLS, with approximately the same cutoff values, suggesting that their PGLS results may be interchangeable.

Open access

Hisham Sharif, Stephen Ting, Lynsey Forsythe, Gordon McGregor, Prithwish Banerjee, Deborah O’Leary, David Ditor, Keith George, Daniel Zehnder and David Oxborough

This study sought to examine layer-specific longitudinal and circumferential systolic and diastolic strain, strain rate (SR) and diastolic time intervals in hypertensive patients with and without diastolic dysfunction. Fifty-eight treated hypertensive patients were assigned to normal diastolic function (NDF, N = 39) or mild diastolic dysfunction (DD, N = 19) group. Layer-specific systolic and diastolic longitudinal and circumferential strains and SR were assessed. Results showed no between-group difference in left ventricular mass index (DD: 92.1 ± 18.1 vs NDF: 88.4 ± 16.3; P = 0.44). Patients with DD had a proportional reduction in longitudinal strain across the myocardium (endocardial for DD −13 ± 4%; vs NDF −17 ± 3, P < 0.01; epicardial for DD −10 ± 3% vs NDF −13 ± 3%, P < 0.01; global for DD: −12 ± 3% vs NDF: −15 ± 3, P = 0.01), and longitudinal mechanical diastolic impairments as evidenced by reduced longitudinal strain rate of early diastole (DD 0.7 ± 0.2 L/s vs NDF 1.0 ± 0.3 L/s, P < 0.01) and absence of a transmural gradient in the duration of diastolic strain (DD endocardial: 547 ± 105 ms vs epicardial: 542 ± 113 ms, P = 0.24; NDF endocardial: 566 ± 86 ms vs epicardial: 553 ± 77 ms, P = 0.03). Patients with DD also demonstrate a longer duration of early circumferential diastolic strain (231 ± 71 ms vs 189 ± 58 ms, P = 0.02). In conclusion, hypertensive patients with mild DD demonstrate a proportional reduction in longitudinal strain across the myocardium, as well as longitudinal mechanical diastolic impairment, and prolonging duration of circumferential mechanical relaxation.

Open access

Daniel Modin, Ditte Madsen Andersen and Tor Biering-Sørensen

Heart failure (HF) is a threat to public health. Heterogeneities in aetiology and phenotype complicate the diagnosis and management of HF. This is especially true when considering HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), which makes up 50% of HF cases. Natriuretic peptides may aid in establishing a working diagnosis in patients suspected of HF, but echocardiography remains the optimal choice for diagnosing HF. Echocardiography provides important prognostic information in both HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF) and HFpEF. Traditionally, emphasis has been put on the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). LVEF is useful for both diagnosis and prognosis in HFrEF. However, echocardiography offers more than this single parameter of systolic function, and for optimal risk assessment in HFrEF, an echocardiogram evaluating systolic, diastolic, left atrial and right ventricular function is beneficial. In this assessment echocardiographic modalities such as global longitudinal strain (GLS) by 2D speckle-tracking may be useful. LVEF offers little value in HFpEF and is neither helpful for diagnosis nor prognosis. Diastolic function quantified by E/e′ and systolic function determined by GLS offer prognostic insight in HFpEF. In HFpEF, other parameters of cardiac performance such as left atrial and right ventricular function evaluated by echocardiography also contribute with prognostic information. Hence, it is important to consider the entire echocardiogram and not focus solely on systolic function. Future research should focus on combining echocardiographic parameters into risk prediction models to adopt a more personalized approach to prognosis instead of identifying yet another echocardiographic biomarker.

Open access

Isaac B Rhea, Shuja Rehman, Upasana Jarori, Muhammad W Choudhry, Harvey Feigenbaum and Stephen G Sawada

Abstract

Assessment of global longitudinal systolic strain (GLS) and longitudinal systolic strain of the basal segments (BLS) has shown prognostic value in cardiac disorders. However, strain is reduced with increased afterload. We assessed the prognostic value of GLS and BLS adjusted for afterload. GLS and BLS were determined in 272 subjects with normal ejection fraction and no known coronary disease, or significant valve disease. Systolic blood pressure (SP) and diastolic blood pressure (DP) obtained at the time of echocardiography were used to adjust GLS and BLS as follows: strain×SP (mmHg)/120 mmHg and strain×DP (mmHg)/80 mmHg. Patients were followed for cardiac events and mortality. The mean age was 53±15 years and 53% had hypertension. There were 19 cardiac events and 70 deaths over a mean follow-up of 26±14 months. Cox analysis showed that left ventricular mass index (P=0.001), BLS (P<0.001), and DP-adjusted BLS (P<0.001) were independent predictors of cardiac events. DP-adjusted BLS added incremental value (P<0.001) to the other two predictors and had an area under the curve of 0.838 for events. DP (P=0.001), age (P=0.001), ACE inhibitor use (P=0.017), and SP-adjusted BLS (P=0.012) were independent predictors of mortality. SP-adjusted BLS added incremental value (P=0.014) to the other independent predictors. In conclusion, DP-adjusted BLS and SP-adjusted BLS were independent predictors of cardiac events and mortality, respectively. Blood pressure-adjusted strain added incremental prognostic value to other predictors of outcome.

Open access

Apostolos Vrettos, David Dawson, Chrysanthos Grigoratos and Petros Nihoyannopoulos

Background

In this study, we investigate the correlation between reduced global longitudinal peak systolic strain (GLPSS) and the SYNTAX score (SS) in patients undergoing coronary angiography.

Methods

We examined 71 patients undergoing both echocardiogram and coronary angiography within 15 days. All patients had normal global and/or regional wall motion on resting echocardiogram. We calculated GLPSS using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography. SS was calculated for each group of patients based on the presence and/or the severity of coronary artery disease (CAD): no CAD on angiogram (n=10, control group), low SS (n=36, SS<22) and high SS (n=25, SS≥22). We hypothesised that GLPSS at rest is inversely correlated with the angiographically derived SS.

Results

Age, sex and most of the risk factors were equally distributed among the groups. There was a significant inverse correlation between GLPSS and SS values (r 2=0.3869, P<0.001). This correlation was weaker in the low-SS group (r 2=0.1332, P<0.05), whereas it was lost in the high-SS group (r 2=0.0002, P=NS). Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis identified that the optimal cut-off for the detection of high-SS patients was 13.95% (sensitivity=71%, specificity=90%, P<0.001).

Conclusions

The results of our study suggest that GLPSS might be promising for the detection of patients with high SYNTAX score on coronary angiogram. There is an inverse correlation between resting GLPSS and SS as assessed by coronary angiography. In patients with the highest SS, however, the correlation with GLPSS was less significant.