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Relationship between Longitudinal Strain and Symptomatic Status in Aortic Stenosis

Valvular Heart Diseases

Background. Global longitudinal strain (GLS) and basal longitudinal strain (BLS) assessed using two-dimensional speckle-tracking imaging have been proposed as subtle markers of left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction with potential prognostic value in patients with aortic stenosis (AS). The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between longitudinal strain and symptomatic status in patients with AS.

GLS and BLS were measured in 171 patients with pure, isolated, at least mild AS prospectively enrolled at two institutions. The population was divided into four groups: asymptomatic nonsevere AS (n = 55), asymptomatic severe AS with preserved LV ejection fraction (LVEF; ≥50%) (n = 37), symptomatic severe AS with preserved LVEF (n = 60), and severe AS with reduced LVEF (<50%) (n = 19).

Results. GLS was significantly different among the four groups (P < .0001), but the difference was due mainly to patients with reduced LVEFs. In addition, there was an important overlap among the groups, and in multivariate analysis, after adjustment for age, gender, AS severity, and LVEF, GLS was not an independent predictor of symptomatic status (P = .07). BLS was also significantly different among the four groups (P < .0001) but in contrast was independently associated with symptomatic status (P < .0001). However, as for GLS, there was an important overlap between groups and differences were close to intraobserver or interobserver variability (1.3 ± 1.1% and 2.0 ± 1.6%, respectively).

Conclusions. In this prospective multicenter cohort of patients with wide ranges of AS severity, symptoms, and LVEFs, BLS but not GLS was independently associated with symptomatic status. However, there was an important overlap among groups, and differences were close to measurements' reproducibility, raising caution regarding the use of longitudinal strain, at least as a single criterion, in the decision-making process for patients with severe asymptomatic AS.

Notes to editor

JASE 2013 ; 26 (8), 868-874

The content of this article reflects the personal opinion of the author/s and is not necessarily the official position of the European Society of Cardiology.