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Minerva Medica 2021 May 05

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.21.07317-1


language: English

Speckle-tracking echocardiography: state of art and its applications

Roberta LOTTI 1, 2, Vincenzo DE MARZO 1, 2, Roberta DELLA BONA 1, Italo PORTO 1, 2, Gian Marco ROSA 1, 2

1 Cardiovascular Disease Unit, IRCCS Italian Cardiovascular Network, IRCCS Policlinic Hospital San Martino, Genova, Italy; 2 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Genoa, Genova, Italy


INTRODUCTION: Echocardiographic evaluation of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) provides important information regarding both myocardial function and prognosis. This parameter presents various limitations and does not allow early detection of myocardial dysfunction. LVEF may be related to hemodynamic load, geometric assumptions, to image quality, and it does not reflect myocardial contractility. It has been hypothesized that Speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) may allow overcoming such limits.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: STE through the measurement of strain and strain rate, which detect myocardial deformation, allows earlier identification of myocardial dysfunction in different settings both in presence of systolic and diastolic dysfunction, helps to predict left ventricular remodelling after acute myocardial infarction (AMI), and helps to decide the timing of surgery in asymptomatic severe valvular heart disease which is still a problematic issue. Increasingly interest regards the role of STE for the assessment of cardiomyopathies, myocarditis, and pulmonary hypertension
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: STE may be applied to the evaluation of systolic and diastolic dysfunction. STE is useful in all conditions in which cardiac dysfunction is not still overt, but a subclinical involvement is undoubtedly present such as in presence of cardiovascular risk factors and in cardio-oncology at earlier stages. It has been confirmed its role in predicting left ventricular remodelling after AMI which represents an important prognostic datum and in deciding the timing of surgery in asymptomatic valvular diseases.
CONCLUSIONS: STE is an important tool to detect myocardial impairment even at earlier stages. 3DSTE and layer-specific strain represent promising fields of clinical application of STE.

KEY WORDS: Speckle tracking; Echocardiography; Ejection fraction; Global longitudinal strain; Strain; Strain rate

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