Background and Aim: Left ventricular (LV) systolic strain has been shown to be an early marker of LV dysfunction in patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) despite preserved ejection fraction (EF). Echocardiography has provided useful data on regional LV strain patterns, but is not as sensitive as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). No prior studies have used MRI-based strain analysis to characterize regional three-dimensional strain in patients with severe AS. Methods: Twelve patients with severe AS and preserved EF underwent MRI-based multiparametric strain analysis. Circumferential and longitudinal strain values were calculated at individual points throughout the LV and analyzed in 12 discrete regions. Strain values were compared to a database of normal controls. Results: Compared to control patients, circumferential strain in AS patients was significantly reduced at the base (P = 0.002), mid (P = 0.042), and inferior walls (P < 0.001). Longitudinal strain was significantly reduced at the base (P < 0.001), mid (P < 0.001), anterior (P < 0.001), and septal (P < 0.001) walls. Among patients with AS, there was heterogeneity in the location and severity of abnormalities in circumferential and longitudinal strains despite the presence of a preserved EF and lack of prior myocardial infarction. Conclusions: LV systolic strain is significantly impaired in patients with AS and preserved EF compared to healthy volunteers. Abnormalities in circumferential and longitudinal strains were heterogeneously distributed across the LV of patients with AS, allowing us to identify sentinel regions that may reflect the earliest signs of developing LV dysfunction.
- cardiovascular pathology
- cardiovascular research