Assessment of strain and strain rate by two-dimensional speckle tracking in mice: comparison with tissue Doppler echocardiography and conductance catheter measurements

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2013 Aug;14(8):765-73. doi: 10.1093/ehjci/jes274. Epub 2012 Dec 2.


Aims: This study was designed in order to compare the strain and strain rate deformation parameters assessed by speckle tracking imaging (STI) with those of tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) and conductance catheter measurements in chronic murine models of left ventricular (LV) dysfunction.

Methods and results: Twenty-four male C57BL/6J mice were assigned to wild-type (n = 8), myocardial infarction (n = 8) and transaortic constriction (n = 8) groups. Echocardiographic and conductance measurements were simultaneously performed at rest and during dobutamine infusion (5 µg/kg/min) in all animals 10 weeks post-surgery. The LV circumferential strain (Scirc) and the strain rate (SRcirc) were derived from grey scale and tissue Doppler data at frame rates of 224 and 375 Hz, respectively. Scirc and SRcirc by TDI/STI correlated well with the preload recruitable stroke work (PRSW) (r = -0.64 and -0.71 for TDI; r = -0.46 and -0.50 for STI, P < 0.05). Both modalities showed a good agreement with respect to Scirc and SRcirc (r = 0.60 and r = 0.63, P < 0.05). During stress, however, TDI-estimated Scirc and SRcirc values were predominantly higher than those measured by STI (P < 0.05). The similarity of Scirc and SRcirc measurements with respect to the STI/TDI data was examined by the Bland-Altman analysis.

Conclusion: In mice, the STI- and TDI-derived strain and strain rate deformation parameters relate closely to intrinsic myocardial function. At low heart rate-to-frame rate ratios (HR/FR), both STI and TDI are equally acceptable for assessing the LV function non-invasively in these animals. At HR/FR (e.g. dobutamine challenge), however, these methods cannot be used interchangeably as STI underestimates S and SR at high values.

Keywords: Contractility; Speckle tracking; Strain; Strain rate; Tissue Doppler.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dobutamine / pharmacology
  • Echocardiography, Doppler / methods*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / physiopathology*


  • Dobutamine