Myocardial function in aortic stenosis - insights from radial multilayer Doppler strain
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background Left ventricular (LV) radial tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) strain increases gradually from the subepicardial to the subendocardial layer in healthy individuals. A speckle tracking echocardiography study suggested this gradient to be reduced in parallel with increasing aortic stenosis (AS) severity. Methods We used TDI strain in 84 patients with AS (mean age 73 ± 10 years, 56% hypertensive) for superior assessment of layer strain. 38 patients had non-severe and 46 severe AS by aortic valve area corrected for pressure recovery. Peak systolic radial TDI strain was measured in the subendocardial, mid-myocardial and subepicardial layers of the basal inferior LV wall, each within a region of interest of 2 × 6 mm (strain length 2 mm). Results Radial strain was lower in the subepicardial layer (33.4 ± 38.6%) compared to the mid-myocardial and subendocardial layers (50.3 ± 37.3% and 53.0 ± 40.0%, respectively, both p < 0.001 vs. subepicardial). In the subendo- and midmyocardium, radial strain was lower in patients with severe AS compared to those with non-severe AS (p < 0.05). In multivariate regression analyses including age, heart rate, inferior wall thickness, hypertension, and AS severity, radial strain in the mid-myocardium was primarily attenuated by presence of hypertension (β = −0.23) and AS severity (β = −0.26, both p < 0.05), while radial strain in the subendocardium was significantly influenced by AS severity only (β = −0.35, p < 0.01). Conclusions In AS, both the AS severity and concomitant hypertension attenuate radial TDI strain in the inferior LV wall. The subendocardial radial strain is mainly influenced by AS severity, while midmyocardial radial strain is attenuated by both hypertension and AS severity.