Assessment of fetal myocardial deformation using speckle tracking techniques

Fetal Diagn Ther. 2012;32(1-2):39-46. doi: 10.1159/000330378. Epub 2012 May 24.


Objective: To report the current status of speckle tracking techniques in evaluation of fetal myocardial deformation.

Methods: A variety of non-Doppler ultrasound methods are available using offline analysis of standard four-chamber and short axis views of the heart.

Results: Most reports have used techniques developed for the measurement of strain and strain rate in the adult heart and produced conflicting descriptions of gestational changes in strain. Myocardial velocities usually reflect mean modal velocities and are lower than the peak velocities obtained using Doppler techniques.

Conclusions: In the fetus, most current methods of acquisition result in frame rates that are too low, and the fetal heart size is too small to achieve reliable measures of fetal myocardial deformation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiomyopathies / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cardiomyopathies / embryology
  • Cardiomyopathies / physiopathology
  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional
  • Female
  • Heart / embryology*
  • Heart / physiology
  • Heart / physiopathology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / embryology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Myocardial Contraction*
  • Pregnancy
  • Ultrasonography, Prenatal / methods*
  • Video Recording