Feasibility and Observer Reproducibility of Speckle Tracking Echocardiography in Congenital Heart Disease Patients

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The twisting motion of the heart has an important role in the function of the left ventricle. Speckle tracking echocardiography is able to quantify left ventricular (LV) rotation and twist. So far this new technique has not been used in congenital heart disease patients. The aim of our study was to investigate the feasibility and the intra- and inter-observer reproducibility of LV rotation parameters in adult patients with congenital heart disease.

Methods and Results

The study population consisted of 66 consecutive patients seen in the outpatient clinic (67% male, mean age 31 ± 7.7 years, NYHA class 1 ± 0.3) with a variety of congenital heart disease. First, feasibility was assessed in all patients. Intra- and inter-observer reproducibility was assessed for the patients in which speckle tracking echocardiography was feasible. Adequate image quality, for performing speckle echocardiography, was found in 80% of patients. The bias for the intra-observer reproducibility of the LV twist was 0.0°, with 95% limits of agreement of −2.5° and 2.5° and for interobserver reproducibility the bias was 0.0°, with 95% limits of agreement of −3.0° and 3.0°. Intra- and inter-observer measurements showed a strong correlation (0.86 and 0.79, respectively). Also a good repeatability was seen. The mean time to complete full analysis per subject for the first and second measurement was 9 and 5 minutes, respectively.


Speckle tracking echocardiography is feasible in 80% of adult patients with congenital heart disease and shows excellent intra- and inter-observer reproducibility.

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