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Left ventricular myocardial function / strain assessment

Session presentations
Non-invasive Imaging: Echocardiography

It has been a pleasure for me to moderate this session about left ventricular myocardial function and strain assessment, one of the main topics of echocardiography today. There can be no doubt that this technique has generated much literature in the last years and that it has a really important position in the research area nowadays.

In this session we tried to explain the basis of these techniques, with special emphasis on three dimensional deformation imaging and to clarify the role that they play in our current clinical practice.
Dr. Sengupta from Nagpur, India, started the session with the description of myocardial fibre architecture and left ventricular mechanics. He presented the different models described to explain the 3D configuration of the heart.
In the following talk, Dr Voigt from Leuven, Belgium, explained to us the deformation imaging. He described the two main techniques developed to evaluate the cardiac mechanics, with its strengths and weaknesses: Doppler Tissue Imaging and Speckle Tracking echocardiography.  The choice of the measurement method will depend on the question we want to ask.

In the third presentation, Dr Muraru from Padua, Italy, focused on three dimensional imaging. She talked about the advantages and challenges of this new technique and the main investigation lines for its application in clinical practice.
In the last presentation, Dr Derumeaux, from Lyon, France, tried to clarify when strain assessment is mandatory.  Despite the fact that this method is not yet recommended for routine clinical practice, she described many potential scenarios in which strain assessment could play a really important role in the near future.

In my opinion echocardiography is the ideal diagnostic method for assessment of left ventricular function. Several techniques have emerged in the last years with the objective of quantifying the left ventricular function and detection of subtle abnormalities in contractility. The progress made so far is appreciable and really encouraging but more time and work is needed to determine the precise role that these techniques are going to play in routine clinical practice, emphasizing the need to establish reference limits and the standardization among manufacturers.




Left ventricular myocardial function / strain assessment

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.