Age- and Sex-Based Reference Limits and Clinical Correlates of Myocardial Strain and Synchrony: The Framingham Heart Study

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Abstract

Background—

There is rapidly growing interest in applying measures of myocardial strain and synchrony in clinical investigations and in practice; data are limited regarding their reference ranges in healthy individuals.

Methods and Results—

We performed speckle-tracking–based echocardiographic measures of left ventricular myocardial strain and synchrony in healthy adults (n=739, mean age 63 years, 64% women) without cardiovascular disease. Reference values were estimated using quantile regression. Age- and sex-based upper (97.5th quantile) limits were: −14.4% to −17.1% (women) and −14.4 to −15.2% (men) for longitudinal strain; −22.3% to −24.7% (women) and −17.9% to −23.7% (men) for circumferential strain; 121 to 165 ms (women) and 143 to 230 ms (men) for longitudinal segmental synchrony (SD of regional time-to-peak strains); and 200 to 222 ms (women) and 216 to 303 ms (men) for transverse segmental synchrony. In multivariable analyses, women had ≈1.7% greater longitudinal strain, ≈2.2% greater transverse strain, and ≈3.2% greater circumferential strain (P<0.0001 for all) compared with men. Older age and higher diastolic blood pressure, even within the normal range, were associated with worse transverse segmental synchrony (P<0.001). Overall, covariates contributed to ≤12% of the variation in myocardial strain or synchrony in this healthy sample.

Conclusions—

We estimated age- and sex-specific reference limits for measures of left ventricular strain and synchrony in a healthy community-based sample, wherein clinical covariates contributed to only a modest proportion of the variation. These data may facilitate the interpretation of left ventricular strain-based measures obtained in future clinical research and practice.

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