Assessment of right ventricular function using echocardiographic speckle tracking of the tricuspid annular motion: comparison with cardiac magnetic resonance

Homaa Ahmad, Victor Mor-Avi, Roberto M Lang, Hans-Joachim Nesser, Lynn Weinert, Wendy Tsang, Regina Steringer-Mascherbauer, Johannes Niel, Ivan S Salgo, Lissa Sugeng
Echocardiography 2012, 29 (1): 19-24

BACKGROUND: Assessment of right ventricular (RV) function is difficult due to the complex shape of this chamber. Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (TAPSE) measured with M-mode echocardiography is frequently used as an index of RV function. However, its accuracy may be limited by ultrasound beam misalignment. We hypothesized that two-dimensional (2D) speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) could provide more accurate estimates of RV function. Accordingly, STE was used to quantify tricuspid annular displacement (TAD), from which RV longitudinal shortening fraction (LSF) was calculated. These STE derived indices were compared side-by-side with M-mode TAPSE measurements against cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) derived RV ejection fraction (EF).

METHODS: Echocardiography (Philips iE33, four-chamber view) and CMR (Siemens, 1.5 T) were performed on the same day in 63 patients with a wide range of RV EF (23-70% by CMR). TAPSE was measured using M-mode echocardiography. TAD and RV LSF were obtained using STE analysis (QLAB CMQ, Philips). TAPSE, TAD and RV LSF values were compared with RV EF obtained from CMR short axis stacks.

RESULTS: STE analysis required <15 seconds and was able to track tricuspid annular motion in all patients as verified visually. Correlation between RV EF and TAD (0.61 free-wall, 0.65 septal) was similar to that with M-mode TAPSE (0.63). However, STE-derived RV LSF showed a higher correlation with CMR EF (r = 0.78).

CONCLUSION: RV LSF measurement by STE is fast and easy to obtain and provides more accurate evaluation of RV EF than the traditional M-mode TAPSE technique, when compared to CMR reference. (Echocardiography 2012;29:19-24).

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