Normal Values for Left Ventricular Strain and Synchrony in Children Based on Speckle Tracking Echocardiography.


Department of Cardiology, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Strain and synchrony are associated with clinical outcomes in children with heart diseases. Robust normative data for these values, measured by 2-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (2DSTE), are limited. Therefore, we aimed to derive normal ranges and z-scores of 2DSTE strain and synchrony parameters in children. Subjects were <21 years old with structurally and functionally normal hearts. High frame-rate 2-dimensional echocardiographic images were retrospectively analyzed to measure longitudinal (LS) and circumferential (CS) strain and synchrony; views used were apical 4, 2, and 3-chamber (AP 4, 2, 3) and mid-papillary short-axis (SAX-M). Synchrony measures included standard deviation of time to peak strain, maximal wall delay, and cross-correlation mean segmental delay; these were calculated without and with heart rate (HR) correction (divided by √RR). Z-score equations were created for AP4 and SAX-M strain components. n = 312 subjects (40% female) were included (age 3 days to 20.5 years). Mean strain values (%) were: AP4 -24.4 ± 3.2, AP2 -24.2 ± 3.3, AP3 -24.6 ± 3.4, SAX-M -25.8 ± 3.4. Significant differences between ages were present for all strain components (AP4 p < 0.001; AP2 p = 0.003; AP3 p = 0.014; SAX-M p = 0.01). LS components decreased with increasing age and body surface area (p < 0.001 for all); CS did not. Longitudinal, but not circumferential, synchrony parameters decreased with age; however, these were nonsignificant after HR correction. In conclusion, normal pediatric 2DSTE strain and synchrony parameters and z-scores are reported to provide a foundation for incorporation into clinical practice. LS decline with age whereas CS does not. Age-related decreases in LS synchrony were mostly nonsignificant when corrected for HR.

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