Myocardial Stretch Post-atrial Contraction in Healthy Volunteers and Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Patients.


Department of Cardiology, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: [Email]


In cardiac high-frame-rate color tissue Doppler imaging (TDI), a wave-like pattern travels over the interventricular septum (IVS) after atrial contraction. The propagation velocity of this myocardial stretch post-atrial contraction (MSPa) was proposed as a measure of left ventricular stiffness. The aim of our study was to investigate the MSPa in patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) compared with healthy volunteers. Forty-two healthy volunteers and 33 HCM patients underwent high-frame-rate (>500 Hz) TDI apical echocardiography. MSPa was visible in TDI, M-mode and speckle tracking. When assuming a wave propagating with constant velocity, MSPa in healthy volunteers (1.6 ± 0.3 m/s) did not differ from that in HCM patients (1.8 ± 0.8 m/s, p = 0.14). Yet, in 42% of patients with HCM, the MSPa had a non-constant velocity over the wall: in the basal IVS, the velocity was lower (1.4 ± 0.5 m/s), and in the mid-IVS, much higher (6.1 ± 3.4 m/s, p < 0.0001), and this effect was related to the septal thickness. The reason is hypothesized to be the reaching of maximal longitudinal myocardial distension in HCM patients.


Atrial contraction,High-frame-rate tissue Doppler,Myocardial stretch,Stiffness,