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J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2003 Dec;16(12):1334-42.

Clinical applications of strain rate imaging.

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Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.


Myocardial strain (epsilon) is a dimensionless index of change in myocardial length in response to an applied force. epsilon Rate (SR) is the rate of change of length and is usually obtained as the time derivative of the epsilon signal. In echocardiography, SR is calculated as the difference between 2 velocities normalized to the distance between the 2 velocities. SR imaging (SRI) has a theoretic advantage over Doppler tissue imaging in that SRI is relatively immune to cardiac translational motion and tethering. Therefore, SRI may be superior to Doppler tissue imaging in quantitative assessment of regional myocardial function and may find clinical application in the interrogation of coronary artery disease. The high frame rates of SRI have also renewed interest in timings of global and regional mechanical events, and their potential clinical applications. The high temporal resolution allows SRI to depict regional systolic and diastolic asynchrony. Ongoing clinical trials will determine the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of SRI parameters for a variety of clinical conditions. Potential clinical applications include investigation of ischemia (at rest and with stress), myocardial viability, and altered global and regional systolic and diastolic function in cardiomyopathies. Suboptimal signal quality remains a major limitation of strain imaging, and advances in data acquisition and postprocessing capabilities will help determine its future incorporation into standard regional myocardial assessment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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