Magnetic resonance imaging detects significant sex differences in human myocardial strain

Jennifer S. Lawton, Brian P. Cupps, Andrew K. Knutsen, Ningning Ma, Beckah D. Brady, Lina M. Reynolds, Michael K. Pasque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: The pathophysiology responsible for the significant outcome disparities between men and women with cardiac disease is largely unknown. Further investigation into basic cardiac physiological differences between the sexes is needed. This study utilized magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based multiparametric strain analysis to search for sex-based differences in regional myocardial contractile function.Methods: End-systolic strain (circumferential, longitudinal, and radial) was interpolated from MRI-based radiofrequency tissue tagging grid point displacements in each of 60 normal adult volunteers (32 females).Results: The average global left ventricular (LV) strain among normal female volunteers (n = 32) was significantly larger in absolute value (functionally better) than in normal male volunteers (n = 28) in both the circumferential direction (Male/Female = -0.19 ± 0.02 vs. -0.21 ± 0.02; p = 0.025) and longitudinal direction (Male/Female = -0.14 ± 0.03 vs. -0.16 ± 0.02; p = 0.007).Conclusions: The finding of significantly larger circumferential and longitudinal LV strain among normal female volunteers suggests that baseline contractile differences between the sexes may contribute to the well-recognized divergence in cardiovascular disease outcomes. Further work is needed in order to determine the pathologic changes that occur in LV strain between women and men with the onset of cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number76
JournalBiomedical engineering online
StatePublished - Aug 22 2011


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