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.