Assessment of left ventricular myocardial work in Turner syndrome patients: insights from the novel non-invasive pressure-strain loop analysis method

Quant Imaging Med Surg. 2020 Jan;10(1):15-25. doi: 10.21037/qims.2019.09.19.


Background: Turner syndrome (TS), a relatively rare chromosomal disease, is associated with multiple cardiovascular risk factors that possibly lead to increased left ventricular afterload and functional impairment. The aim of this study was to investigate whether alterations in myocardial work and work efficiency can be found in TS patients through left ventricular pressure-strain loop analysis (PSL).

Methods: Thirty-eight patients with TS and 19 healthy, age-matched controls were recruited for this study. Global peak systolic strain (GLPS) and PSL of the left ventricle was assessed in study participants. TS patients whose history included coarctation of the aorta or prior cardiac surgery were excluded from GLPS and PSL analyses (n=5).

Results: Median age was 16.00 years in the TS group and 16.35 years in the control group (P=0.236). GLPS did not show significant differences between both groups (P=0.524). TS patients demonstrated, compared to controls, a significantly higher global myocardial work index (BSA) (mean ± SD: 1,497±505 vs. 1,214±245 mmHg*%/m2; P=0.027). Heart rate was significantly increased in TS patients, compared to controls (mean ± SD: 90.08±14.79 vs. 73.95±15.05 bpm; P<0.001), and correlated significantly with global myocardial work index [body surface area (BSA)] within the TS cohort (r=0.558, P=0.001).

Conclusions: TS patients showed signs of increased myocardial workload that were only detectable through the novel PSL analysis method and not through GLPS. Moreover, elevated resting heart rate was linked with increased myocardial workload in TS patients. Further studies will have to investigate whether TS patients may develop advanced left ventricular systolic dysfunction later in life.

Keywords: Echocardiography; Turner syndrome (TS); myocardial work; pressure-strain loop (PSL).