Reference Ranges and Regional Patterns of Left Ventricular Strain and Strain Rate Using Two-Dimensional Speckle-Tracking Echocardiography in a Healthy Middle-Aged Black and White Population: The CARDIA Study.

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Strain and strain rate are sensitive markers of left ventricular (LV) myocardial function. The aim of this study was to assess reference ranges and regional patterns of LV strain and strain rate using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography in a large population of black and white subjects.

METHODS

This study involved a retrospective review of prospectively collected images in 557 participants in the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study who remained healthy at the year 25 examination. LV deformation parameters were measured in apical four-chamber, apical two-chamber, and parasternal short-axis views in 509, 391, and 521 subjects, respectively.

RESULTS

Patients' mean age was 49.6 ± 3.6 years, 61.6% were women, and 69.5% were white. White women showed the highest LV systolic and diastolic deformation values, reflected by a more negative reference range for apical four-chamber longitudinal strain (-16.4%; 95% prediction interval [PI], -20.8% to -12.0%) and a higher positive reference range for early diastolic strain rate (0.93 1/sec; 95% PI, 0.41 to 1.46 1/sec), respectively. The lowest LV systolic and diastolic deformation values were found in black men, with apical four-chamber longitudinal strain (14.7%; 95% PI, -19.1% to -10.3%) and early diastolic strain rate (0.79 1/sec; 95% PI, 0.42 to 1.16 1/sec). Absolute strain increased from the epicardium toward the endocardium. A base-to-apex gradient of longitudinal strain toward the apex was exhibited in inferior and inferoseptal regions and, in contrast, in the opposite direction in anterior and anterolateral walls. Sex had the strongest influence on LV deformation variability.

CONCLUSIONS

Strain and strain rate reference values were sex and race related. White women showed the highest reference ranges for LV deformation, while the lowest values were found in black men. Significant layer- and level-specific patterns in regional LV deformation were identified.

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