Aims: Left ventricular (LV) circumferential strain (Ecc) is a sensitive index of regional myocardial function. Currently, no studies have assessed its prognostic value in general population. We sought to investigate whether Ecc has a prognostic value for predicting incident heart failure (HF) and other major cardiovascular events in asymptomatic individuals without a history of previous cardiovascular diseases.
Methods and results: We, prospectively, assessed incident HF and atherosclerotic events during a 5.5 ± 1.3-year period in 1768 asymptomatic individuals aged 45-84 (mean age 65 years; 47% female) who underwent tagged magnetic resonance imaging for strain determination. During the follow-up period, 39 (2.2%) participants experienced incident HF and 108 (6.1%) participants had atherosclerotic cardiovascular events. Average of peak Ecc of 12-LV segments (Ecc-global) and mid-slice (Ecc-mid) was -17.0 ± 2.4 and -17.5 ± 2.7%, respectively. Participants with average absolute Ecc-mid lower than -16.9% had a higher cumulative hazard of incident HF (log-rank test, P = 0.001). In cox regression analysis, Ecc-mid predicted incident HF independent of age, diabetes status, hypertension, interim myocardial infarction, LV mass index, and LV ejection fraction (hazard ratio 1.15 per 1%, 95% CI: 1.01-1.31, P = 0.03). This relationship remained significant after adjustment for LV-end-systolic wall stress into covariates. In addition, by adding Ecc-mid to risk factors, LV ejection fraction, and the LV mass index, both the global χ(2) value (76.6 vs. 82.4, P = 0.04) and category-less net-reclassification index (P = 0.01, SE = 0.18, z = 2.53) were augmented for predicting HF. Circumferential strain was also significantly related to the composite atherosclerotic cardiovascular events, but its relationship was attenuated after introducing the LV mass index.
Conclusion: Circumferential shortening provides robust, independent, and incremental predictive value for incident HF in asymptomatic subjects without any history of previous clinical cardiovascular disease.
Clinical trial registration: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00005487.
Keywords: Cardiovascular events; Heart failure; Myocardial function.