Two-Dimensional Longitudinal Strain Assessment in the Presence of Myocardial Contrast Agents Is Only Feasible with Speckle-Tracking after Microbubble Destruction Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Longitudinal strain (LS) imaging is an important tool for the quantification of left ventricular function and deformation, but its assessment is challenging in the presence of echocardiographic contrast agents (CAs). The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that destruction of microbubbles using high mechanical index (MI) could allow the measurement of LS. METHODS: LS was measured using speckle strain (speckle-tracking LS [STLS]) and Velocity Vector Imaging (VVI) before and after CA administration in 30 consecutive patients. Low MI was used for left ventricular opacification and three-dimensional high MI for microbubble destruction. Four different settings were tested over 60 sec: (1) baseline LS without contrast, (2) LS after CA administration with low MI (0.3), (3) LS after CA administration with high MI (0.9), and (4) LS after microbubble destruction with high MI and three-dimensional imaging. RESULTS: Baseline feasibility of LS assessment (99.3% and 98.2% with STLS and VVI, respectively) was reduced after CA administration using STLS at low (69%, P < .0001) and high (95.4%, P = .0002) MI as well as with VVI (93.8%, P = .004, and 84.7%, P < .0001, respectively). STLS assessment was feasible with high MI after microbubble destruction (1.7% of uninterpretable segments vs 0.7%, P = .26) but not using VVI (7.2% vs 1.8%, P < .001). Regardless of which microbubbles or image settings were used, VVI was associated with significant variability and overestimation of global LS (for low MI, +4.7%, P < .01; for high MI, +3.3%, P < .001; for high MI after microbubble destruction, +1.3%, P = .04). CONCLUSIONS: LS assessment is most feasible without contrast. If a CA is necessary, the calculation of LS is feasible using the speckle-tracking method, if three-dimensional imaging is used as a tool for microbubble destruction 1 min after CA administration.


  • Cavalcante, João L
  • Collier, Patrick
  • Plana, Juan C
  • Agler, Deborah
  • Thomas, James D
  • Marwick, Thomas H

publication date

  • December 2012