Patterns of Mechanical Inefficiency in Pediatric Dilated Cardiomyopathy and Their Relation to Left Ventricular Function and Clinical Outcomes

J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2016 Mar;29(3):226-36. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2015.11.011. Epub 2015 Dec 19.


Background: Pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is associated with death or transplantation and is typically considered a homogeneous process affecting global left ventricular (LV) function. However, assessment of regional abnormalities that contribute to pumping inefficiencies is lacking. The aim of this study was to define regional strain patterns of mechanical inefficiency in the broader context of LV discoordination (dysfunction and timing abnormalities) and to evaluate their associations with LV function and clinical outcomes.

Methods: Multiplanar apical LV echocardiographic images from patients with pediatric DCM (n = 56) and control subjects (n = 20) were analyzed by two-dimensional longitudinal speckle-tracking strain analysis to identify segmental strain patterns and global contraction groups. Clinical outcome (death or transplantation vs transplantation-free survival) and echocardiographic data were evaluated. Outcome groups were compared using the Fisher exact test, the χ(2) test, or analysis of variance (with P values ≤ .05 considered to indicate statistical significance).

Results: Of 56 patients with DCM, 29 (52%) progressed to death or transplantation. Five segmental strain patterns were observed that were used to define seven contraction groups by regional contractility and/or timing discoordination. The group(s) with the most discoordination had the most LV dysfunction (P = .0004) and a trend toward the highest frequency of death or transplantation (P = .069). Interreader reproducibility of segmental strain patterns agreed in 165 or 180 (92%) segments tested (κ = 0.90). Control subjects had normal strain patterns.

Conclusions: A heterogeneous mixture of abnormalities in the regional wall mechanics that lead to inefficient pump mechanics through functional and timing abnormalities were seen in this cohort and were categorized into natural subgroups. More severe LV discoordination was associated with increased LV dysfunction and a trend toward death or transplantation.

Keywords: Dilated cardiomyopathy; Discoordination; Dyssynchrony; Pediatric; Strain pattern.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / mortality*
  • Causality
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Echocardiography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Survival Rate
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / diagnostic imaging*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / mortality*