Objectives: This study investigated whether the measurement of mitral annulus displacement by the tissue-tracking method with Doppler-tissue images can provide more accurate information on the severity of heart failure compared to conventional methods, such as left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF).
Background: Impaired left ventricular function is an important predictor of poor prognosis. Although LVEF has been used to assess left ventricular function, such indicators do not necessarily correlate well to clinical variables such as New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class or plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) concentration.
Methods: In 90 subjects with or without various heart diseases, mitral annulus displacement was measured by the tissue-tracking method with Doppler-tissue images and the correlations evaluated with NYHA functional class, plasma BNP concentration, left ventricular mass index and Tei index.
Results: Mitral annulus displacement by the tissue-tracking method with Doppler-tissue images was well correlated with NYHA functional class and plasma BNP concentration. LVEF was also correlated with these clinical variables, but significantly more weakly. Furthermore, mitral annulus displacement by the tissue-tracking method with Doppler-tissue images was correlated with left ventricular mass index and Tei index, which indicate left ventricular systolic and diastolic function.
Conclusions: The present study suggests that mitral annulus displacement measured by our technique is a useful and reliable method for assessing the severity of heart failure.