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J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2009 Jul;22(7):831-8. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2009.04.016. Epub 2009 Jun 7.

Chronic mitral regurgitation: a pilot study to assess preoperative left ventricular contractile function using speckle-tracking echocardiography.

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Instituto Cardiovascular, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain.



The development of postoperative left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is a frequent complication in patients with chronic severe mitral regurgitation (MR) and implies a poor prognosis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the predictive value of preoperative regional LV contractile function assessment using two-dimensional echocardiography-based speckle-tracking analysis in patients with chronic severe MR.


Thirty-eight consecutive patients with chronic severe MR scheduled for mitral valve replacement were prospectively enrolled. Preoperative two-dimensional echocardiography-based speckle-tracking analysis at the level of the interventricular septum (IVS) was carried out, and strain and strain rate values were obtained. LV dP/dt and Doppler tissue imaging-derived strain and strain rate measurements were also obtained. LV volumes and LV ejection fraction (LVEF) were defined using three-dimensional echocardiography.


Preoperative speckle tracking-derived longitudinal strain and strain rate values at the level of the IVS strongly predicted a postoperative LVEF decrease of >10%. Their predictive values were greater than those obtained for preoperative LV volumes and LVEF, LV dP/dt, and Doppler tissue imaging-derived strain and strain rate. The best discriminant parameter to detect a postoperative LVEF reduction of >10% with speckle tracking was a longitudinal strain rate at the level of the mid IVS < -0.80 s(-1) (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.88; sensitivity, 60%; specificity, 96.5%; positive predictive value, 90%; negative predictive value, 82.35%).


IVS longitudinal speckle tracking-derived strain rate allows the accurate detection of early abnormalities in LV contractile function. It is a powerful predictor of early postoperative LVEF decreases in patients with chronic severe MR. Furthermore, speckle-tracking technology is more accurate than other methods. This new tool might assist clinicians in the optimal timing of surgery in patients with chronic severe MR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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