Left ventricular strain, rotation, and torsion as markers of acute myocardial ischemia

Christian Arvei Moen, Pirjo-Riitta Salminen, Ketil Grong, Knut Matre
American Journal of Physiology. Heart and Circulatory Physiology 2011, 300 (6): H2142-54
This study investigates how tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) and speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) describe regional myocardial deformation during controlled reductions of left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery perfusion pressure. In eight anesthetized pigs, a shunt with constrictor was installed from the brachiocephalic artery to the LAD. Data were obtained with open shunt, followed by four degrees of stenosis (S1-S4) of increasing severity: S1, ∼15%; S2, ∼35%; S3, ∼50%; and S4, ∼60% reductions of LAD perfusion pressure. At each situation, microspheres for perfusion measurements were injected and left ventricular (LV) short- and long-axis cineloops were recorded. In the anterior wall, radial, circumferential, and longitudinal one-layer STE strain, one-layer radial TDI strain, and three-layer radial TDI and STE strain were measured. LV peak mean rotation was measured at six equidistant levels from apex to base (in 7 pigs). LV torsion was calculated from end-systolic mean rotation. With open shunt, three-layer TDI analysis showed a transmural strain gradient with no perfusion gradient. Perfusion, one-layer TDI strain, and strain in the mid- and subendocardium from three-layer TDI were reduced at S2 (P < 0.05). STE strain was not affected until S3 (P < 0.05). Peak mean rotation, increasing toward the apex, decreased at the three apical levels at S4 (P < 0.05). LV torsion did not decrease (P = 0.26). In conclusion, TDI strain detected dysfunction already with minor changes in global hemodynamics, whereas STE strain was first reduced with moderate changes. LV peak mean rotation was not reduced until severe reduction of LAD perfusion pressure, but remained increasingly counterclockwise toward the apex. LV torsion remained unaffected by ischemia.

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