Conventional LV EF does not predict clinical outcome events since it reflects the geometric change to LV rather than the intrinsic contractile function of the myocardium. This is particularly important in patients with heart failure.
Transthoracic speckle tracking echocardiography is based on two-dimensional strain echocardiographic imaging and uses standard B-mode images for speckle-tracking analysis. The displacement of small myocardial regions (speckles) is used to track myocardial movement and to calculate the extent and rate of myocardial deformation.
There is now a large body of evidence to support the assessment of LV and RV intrinsic myocardial function based on this modality. The evaluation of LV, RV and LA function is mainly achieved through 2D views. Measurement of global longitudinal strain and of circumferential strain (CS) has been verified in different clinical scenarios. In addition, segmental strain assessment can provide valuable information in patients with heart failure. Therefore, 2D speckle tracking echocardiography can facilitate early diagnosis and add prognostic data when evaluating patients with known or suspected cardiovascular disease.
3D speckle tracking imaging is a new advanced echocardiographic technique that can offer more realistic data. However, more research is needed to implement this modality into clinical practice.
This special issue focuses on the evaluation of myocardial speckle tracking to delineate the diagnostic and prognostic significance of LV, RV, LA or RA deformation and to strengthen their application in daily clinical practice.
Prof. ConstantinaAggeli and Dr. Dimitrios Tsartsalis
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