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      Left Ventricular Myocardial Function in Hemodialysis and Nondialysis Uremia Patients: A Three-Dimensional Speckle-Tracking Echocardiography Study

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          Several studies have demonstrated that uremic patients who have preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) could still have the potential for systolic dysfunction. The aim of this study was to assess the differences between the left ventricular (LV) myocardial function in hemodialysis and nondialysis uremic patients based on three-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography.


          The study population consisted of 35 maintenance hemodialysis patients (the hemodialysis group), 30 uremic patients who were hospitalized for the creation of a primary arteriovenous fistula (the nondialysis group), and 32 healthy volunteers. All of the patients had normal left ventricular ejection fractions (i.e., 55% or greater). Three-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography was performed to assess the left ventricle's global three-dimensional strain, regional longitudinal strain, circumferential strain, and radial strain.


          The left ventricular regional longitudinal strain, radial strain, circumferential strain, and global three-dimensional strain were significantly decreased in the nondialysis patients compared with the other two groups (all, P<0.001). However, the three-dimensional strain and the regional longitudinal strain were lower in the hemodialysis patients than in the controls ( P<0.01). In the hemodialysis patients and the control group, the longitudinal strain, circumferential strain, and radial strain were higher at the apical level than they were at the basal level and midlevels. A multivariate linear regression analysis showed that the blood urea nitrogen and creatinine levels were independently associated with the values of the global three-dimensional strain (β = −0.217, P = 0.000; β = −0.243, P = 0.011, respectively) and the longitudinal strain (β = −0.154, P = 0.032; β = −0.188, P = 0.029, respectively).


          Three-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography may detect myocardial dysfunction in patients with uremia who have preserved LVEF. The global three-dimensional strain and the regional longitudinal strain appear to be superior in hemodialysis patients compared with nondialysis patients.

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          Most cited references 19

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          Non-Doppler two-dimensional strain imaging by echocardiography--from technical considerations to clinical applications.

          During the past several years, strain and strain rate imaging have emerged as a quantitative technique to accurately estimate myocardial function and contractility. Non-Doppler, 2-dimensional (2D) strain imaging is a new echocardiographic technique for obtaining strain and strain rate measurements. It analyzes motion by tracking speckles in the ultrasonic image in two dimensions. Current available software allows spatial and temporal image processing with recognition and selection of such elements on ultrasound image. The geometric shift of each speckle represents local tissue movement. By tracking theses speckles, 2D tissue velocity, strain, and strain rate can be calculated. Non-Doppler 2D strain imaging is simple to perform. It requires only one cardiac cycle to be acquired; further processing and interpretation can be done after image data acquisition. Because it is not based on tissue Doppler measurements, it is angle independent. Data regarding accuracy, validity, and clinical application of non-Doppler 2D strain imaging are rapidly accumulating. This technique may prove to be of significant clinical value, enabling rapid and accurate assessment of global and segmental myocardial function.
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            Regional nonuniformity of normal adult human left ventricle.

            Regional nonuniformity is a feature of both diseased and normal left ventricles (LV). With the use of magnetic resonance (MR) myocardial tagging, we performed three-dimensional strain analysis on 87 healthy adults in local cardiac and fiber coordinate systems (radial, circumferential, longitudinal, and fiber strains) to characterize normal nonuniformities and to test the validity of wall thickening as a parameter of regional function. Regional morphology included wall thickness and radii of curvature measurements. With respect to transmural nonuniformity, subendocardial strains exceeded subepicardial strains. Going from base to apex, wall thickness and circumferential radii of curvature decreased, whereas longitudinal radii of curvature increased. All of the strains increased from LV base to apex, resulting in a higher ejection fraction (EF) at the apex than at the base (70.9 +/- 0.4 vs. 62.4 +/- 0.4%; means +/- SE, P < 0.0001). When we looked around the circumference of the ventricle, the anterior part of the LV was the flattest and thinnest and showed the largest wall thickening (46.6 +/- 1.2%) but the lowest EF (64.7 +/- 0.5%). The posterior LV wall was thicker, more curved, and showed a lower wall thickening (32.8 +/- 1.0%) but a higher EF (71.3 +/- 0.5%). The regional contribution of the LV wall to the ejection of blood is thus highly variable and is not fully characterized by wall thickening alone. Differences in regional LV architecture and probably local stress are possible explanations for this marked functional nonuniformity.
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              Myocardial strain and torsion quantified by cardiovascular magnetic resonance tissue tagging: studies in normal and impaired left ventricular function.

              Accurate quantification and timing of regional myocardial function allows early identification of dysfunction, and therefore becomes increasingly important for clinical risk assessment, patient management, and evaluation of therapeutic efficacy. For this purpose, the application of tissue Doppler echocardiography has rapidly increased. However, echocardiography has some major inherent limitations. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging with tissue tagging provides highly reproducible data on myocardial function, not only in longitudinal and radial directions, but also in the circumferential direction. Because of the development of faster imaging protocols, improved temporal resolution, less time-consuming postprocessing procedures, and the potential of quantifying myocardial deformation in 3 dimensions at any point in the heart, this technique may serve as an alternative for tissue Doppler echocardiography and is now ready for more widespread clinical use. This review discusses the clinical use of cardiovascular magnetic resonance tissue tagging for quantitative assessment of regional myocardial function, thereby underlining the specific features and emerging role of this technique.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                24 June 2014
                : 9
                : 6
                [1 ]Department of Diagnostic Ultrasound and Echocardiography, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University College of Medicine and Sir Run Run Shaw Institute of Clinical Medicine of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
                [2 ]Department of Radiology, Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital, Zhejiang University College of Medicine and Sir Run Run Shaw Institute of Clinical Medicine of Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China
                [3 ]Department of Ultrasound, The First People's Hospital, Hangzhou Xiao Shan District, Hangzhou, China
                Temple University, United States of America
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: RC BWZ LJS. Performed the experiments: XW BW MMM. Analyzed the data: RC MMM YY. Wrote the paper: RC XW.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 7
                The research is supported by Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education (20110101120136). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Cardiovascular Anatomy
                Population Biology
                Medicine and Health Sciences
                Cardiovascular Imaging
                Diagnostic Medicine
                Diagnostic Radiology
                Ultrasound Imaging
                Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology
                Radiology and Imaging



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