Quantitative Evaluation of Regional Left Ventricular Function Using Three-Dimensional Speckle Tracking Echocardiography in Patients With and Without Heart Disease

      Although 2-dimensional (2D) speckle tracking echocardiography has been shown to be useful in the assessment of regional left ventricular function, it is limited by the assumption that speckles can be tracked frame-to-frame within the imaging plane, even though the cardiac motion is 3-dimensional (3D). Our goal was to evaluate new 3D-speckle tracking echocardiographic (STE) software by (1) comparing the regional wall motion measurements against 2D-STE images, and (2) testing its ability to identify regional wall motion abnormalities. The 2D images and real-time 3D data sets (Toshiba) obtained from 32 subjects were analyzed to measure segmental radial and longitudinal displacements and rotation, as well as the radial, longitudinal, and circumferential strains. The intertechnique comparisons included regression and Bland-Altman analyses. Additionally, cardiac magnetic resonance images (Siemens 1.5 T) acquired the same day were reviewed by an expert who classified the segments as normal or abnormal. The values of each 3D-STE index were compared between the normal and abnormal segments. The 3D-STE and 2D-STE indexes did not correlate well (r = 0.16 to 0.76) and showed wide limits in intertechnique agreement (2 SD: 5 to 6 mm for displacements, 14° rotation, 17% to 52% strains) despite only minimal biases, indicating that these 2 techniques are not interchangeable. In normal segments, 3D-STE showed greater displacements, reflecting the out-of-plane motion component; smaller SDs, indicating tighter normal ranges; and a gradual decrease in radial and longitudinal displacement and a reversal in rotation from the base to the apex. In the abnormal segments, all 3D-STE indexes were reduced, reaching significance for 5 of 6 indexes. In conclusion, this is the first study to evaluate the new 3D-STE technique for measurement of regional wall motion indexes. Our findings have demonstrated its superiority over 2D-STE.
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