Chronic mitral regurgitation: a pilot study to assess preoperative left ventricular contractile function using speckle-tracking echocardiography

Leopoldo Perez de Isla, Alberto de Agustin, Jose Luis Rodrigo, Carlos Almeria, Maria del Carmen Manzano, Enrique Rodríguez, Ana García, Carlos Macaya, José Zamorano
Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography 2009, 22 (7): 831-8

BACKGROUND: The development of postoperative left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is a frequent complication in patients with chronic severe mitral regurgitation (MR) and implies a poor prognosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive value of preoperative regional LV contractile function assessment using two-dimensional echocardiography-based speckle-tracking analysis in patients with chronic severe MR.

METHODS: Thirty-eight consecutive patients with chronic severe MR scheduled for mitral valve replacement were prospectively enrolled. Preoperative two-dimensional echocardiography-based speckle-tracking analysis at the level of the interventricular septum (IVS) was carried out, and strain and strain rate values were obtained. LV dP/dt and Doppler tissue imaging-derived strain and strain rate measurements were also obtained. LV volumes and LV ejection fraction (LVEF) were defined using three-dimensional echocardiography.

RESULTS: Preoperative speckle tracking-derived longitudinal strain and strain rate values at the level of the IVS strongly predicted a postoperative LVEF decrease of >10%. Their predictive values were greater than those obtained for preoperative LV volumes and LVEF, LV dP/dt, and Doppler tissue imaging-derived strain and strain rate. The best discriminant parameter to detect a postoperative LVEF reduction of >10% with speckle tracking was a longitudinal strain rate at the level of the mid IVS < -0.80 s(-1) (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.88; sensitivity, 60%; specificity, 96.5%; positive predictive value, 90%; negative predictive value, 82.35%).

CONCLUSIONS: IVS longitudinal speckle tracking-derived strain rate allows the accurate detection of early abnormalities in LV contractile function. It is a powerful predictor of early postoperative LVEF decreases in patients with chronic severe MR. Furthermore, speckle-tracking technology is more accurate than other methods. This new tool might assist clinicians in the optimal timing of surgery in patients with chronic severe MR.

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