Prior studies suggested that myocardial deformation is superior to conventional measures for assessing ventricular function. This study aimed to evaluate right ventricular (RV) myocardial deformation in response to increased afterload. Patients with the RV in the systemic position were compared with patients with the RV in the sub-pulmonic position with normal or only slightly elevated systolic right ventricular pressure. Correlations between global longitudinal strain (GLS), radial strain, atrioventricular plane displacement (AVPD), and exercise capacity were evaluated.
44 patients with congenital heart defect were enrolled in the study. The control group consisted of seven healthy volunteers. All patients underwent cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. We assessed biventricular myocardial function using CMR based feature tracking and compared the results to anatomic volumes.
Strain analysis and displacement measurements were feasible in all participants. RVGLS and RVAVPD were reduced in both study groups compared to the control group (p<0.001). Left ventricular (LV) radial strain was significantly lower in patients with a systemic RV than in those with a subpulmonic RV and lower than in controls (p<0.001). Both LVAVPD and RVAVPD were significantly depressed in patients compared to controls (p<0.05). RVAVPD was more depressed in patients with a high systolic RV pressure than in those with normal RV pressure (p<0.001). RVAVPD did not correlate with exercise capacity in either study group. Exercise capacity in both patient groups was depressed to levels reported in previous studies, and did not correlate with RVGLS.