Regional and global myocardial deformation of the fetal right ventricle in hypoplastic left heart syndrome


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Abstract

ObjectiveQuantification of fetal right ventricular (RV) function by 2D-echocardiography is challenging. Velocity vector imaging (VVI) is an angle independent speckle tracking technique that assesses regional myocardial mechanics. Alteration in the deformation of the fetal RV in hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the regional mechanics of the fetal RV in HLHS.MethodsWe retrospectively analyzed HLHS fetuses imaged at our center. Velocity, strain and strain rate were obtained using VVI. Global and regional parameters of RV deformation were compared between HLHS fetuses and gestational age matched controls.ResultsA total of 30 HLHS fetuses and 30 gestational age matched controls were analyzed. The mean gestational age was 30.5 ±3.5 weeks. Global myocardial strain was significantly decreased in HLHS RVs compared to controls (−1.9% vs. -4.1%, p = 0.003). The volume of the hypoplastic left ventricle did not affect RV deformation in HLHS.ConclusionsCompared to controls, the RV in HLHS fetuses has decreased systolic strain. Prenatal abnormalities in RV myocardial deformation may be responsible for inefficient cardiac performance and output. RV myocardial performance in HLHS can be measured prenatally and may be predictive of post-natal RV dysfunction.

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