A preliminary comparison of two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography and pressure-volume loop analysis in patients with Fontan physiology: The role of ventricular morphology

Echocardiography. 2017 Sep;34(9):1353-1359. doi: 10.1111/echo.13641. Epub 2017 Jul 28.


Objective: Speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) may be a useful modality for assessing ventricular performance in patients with single ventricle physiology. However, STE's ability to accurately assess ventricular performance in this population is unknown. The objective of this study was to perform a preliminary comparison of STE measures of myocardial deformation to reference standard measures of function derived from pressure-volume loop (PVL) analysis.

Design: This was a secondary analysis of a prospective study investigating PVLs in patients with Fontan physiology. PVLs were recorded using microconductance catheters. PVL indices included end-systolic elastance (Ees), arterial elastance (Ea), ventriculo-arterial coupling (Ea/Ees), and the isovolumic relaxation time constant (tau). Patients were included if they had an echocardiogram within 1 month of their catheterization. STE was performed retrospectively using vendor independent software.

Results: Seventeen patients had echocardiograms available for analysis, 12 were right ventricular (RV) dominant. The median age was 8 years (IQR 5-17 years). Circumferential strain (r=-.72, P≤.01) and strain rate (r=-.61, P=.04) correlated with Ea/Ees in those with RV-dominant morphology. Longitudinal strain rate correlated with Ees in those with LV-dominant morphology (r=-.98, P≤.01). Longitudinal EDSR correlated with tau in those with LV-dominant morphology (r=-.90, P=.04).

Conclusions: In this limited sample, circumferential measures of deformation correlated with PVL measures better in patients with RV morphology, while longitudinal measures correlated better with PVL measures in patients with LV morphology. Further validation and investigation into the clinical usefulness of these measures are warranted.

Keywords: Fontan; pressure-volume loop; speckle tracking echocardiography; ventricular function.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / physiopathology
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Stroke Volume / physiology*
  • Ventricular Function, Left / physiology*
  • Ventricular Pressure / physiology*