Aims: The study aimed to compare the inter-observer reproducibility of new and traditional measurements of the left ventricular (LV) global and regional function.
Methods and results: Two experienced echocardiographers performed 20 complete echo/Doppler examinations and 50 analyses on ten healthy subjects. All recordings were analysed for systolic and diastolic conventional and deformation measurements by both echocardiographers. Inter-observer mean error (absolute difference divided by the mean) was 4% and lowest (P = 0.001) for systolic M-mode annulus excursion. Mean error for the regional deformation indices was significantly higher than for all the global measurements (all P < 0.001). Mean error for analyses of the same recording was 34% (P = 0.002) lower for global systolic indices and 44% (P < 0.001) lower for global diastolic indices than inter-observer mean error for analyses made in separate recordings.
Conclusion: Systolic M-mode annulus excursion showed better inter-observer reproducibility than other traditional and newer measurements of LV systolic and diastolic function. Repeated analyses of the same recordings underestimate the more clinically relevant inter-observer reproducibility by approximately 40% for most measurements of LV function.