Objectives: To determine the usefulness of new two-dimensional strain indices, based on speckle tracking imaging, for assessment of systemic right ventricular (RV) function after an atrial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: Tertiary paediatric cardiac centre.
Methods: 26 patients, mean (SD) age 21.0 (3.6) years at 19.9 (3.2) years after an atrial switch operation, and 27 age-matched controls were studied. Two-dimensional imaging at the four-chamber view was obtained with tracing of the entire RV endocardial border. The RV global longitudinal strain (GLS) and GLS rate were derived using automated software (EchoPAC, GE Medical) and correlated with tissue Doppler-derived RV isovolumic acceleration (IVA), and, in the patient cohort, with cardiac magnetic resonance-derived RV ejection fraction.
Results: Intra- and interobserver variability for measurement of GLS, as determined from the mean (SD) of differences in two consecutive results from 20 studies, were 0.06 (1.39)% and 0.24 (1.77)%, respectively. Compared with controls, patients had lower RV GLS (17.1 (1.9)% vs 26.3 (2.9)%, p<0.001), a reduced GLS rate (0.78 (0.11)/s vs 1.33 (0.23)/s, p<0.001), lower RV IVA (1.10 (0.36) m/s(2) vs 1.56 (0.53) m/s(2), p<0.001) and increased RV myocardial performance index (0.52 (0.09) vs 0.38 (0.09), p<0.001). Both RV GLS and GLS rate correlated positively with RV IVA (r = 0.43, p = 0.001 and r = 0.46, p<0.001, respectively), and negatively with RV myocardial performance index (r = -0.65, p<0.001 and r = -0.57, p<0.001, respectively). In patients, the GLS rate correlated positively with RV ejection fraction (r = 0.62, p = 0.001).
Conclusions: Two-dimensional RV GLS and GLS rate are new, potentially useful indices for assessment of systemic RV function.