Quantitative Assessment of Alterations in Regional Left Ventricular Contractility With Color-Coded Tissue Doppler Echocardiography: Comparison With Sonomicrometry and Pressure-Volume Relations

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Background Tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) is a novel method of color-coding myocardial velocity on-line. The objective of the present study was to evaluate endocardial velocity with TDI as a method of objectively quantifying alterations in regional contractility over a wide range induced by inotropic modulation.Methods and Results Myocardial length crystals were used to simultaneously assess regional left ventricular (LV) function, and high-fidelity pressure and conductance catheters were used to assess global LV contractility by pressure-volume relations in nine open-chest dogs. Mid-LV M-mode and two-dimensional color TDI images were recorded during control and inotropic modulation stages with dobutamine and esmolol. Predicted significant increases in TDI indices occurred with dobutamine: peak systolic velocity of 4.41 +/- 1.07 to 6.67 +/- 1.07 cm/s*, systolic time-velocity integral (TVI) of 0.43 +/-0.12 to 0.62 +/-0.10 cm*, and diastolic TVI of 0.49 +/-0.11 to 0.71 +/-0.17 cm*. Opposing significant decreases occurred with esmolol: peak systolic velocity of 4.46 +/- 0.94 to 2.31 +/- 0.81 cm/s*, systolic TVI of 0.47 +/- 0.12 to 0.19 +/- 0.11 cm*, and diastolic TVI of 0.55 +/- 0.11 to 0.33 +/- 0.11 cm* (*all P < .001 versus control). Changes in TDI peak systolic velocity were correlated with changes in fractional shortening (r = .88) and shortening velocity (r = .87) by sonomicrometry. Changes in TDI peak velocity from multiple mid-LV sites also correlated significantly with maximal elastance (r = .85 +/- .04) from pressure-volume relations.Conclusions TDI measures reflect directional and incremental alterations in regional and global LV contractility and have the potential to quantify regional LV function. (Circulation. 1997;95:2423-2433.)

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