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J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2012 Oct;25(10):1058-67. doi: 10.1016/j.echo.2012.07.016. Epub 2012 Aug 11.

Acute changes in myocardial systolic function in preterm infants undergoing patent ductus arteriosus ligation: a tissue Doppler and myocardial deformation study.

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Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Ligation of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) in preterm infants causes profound hemodynamic changes that can result in low cardiac output syndrome and hypotension. The effect of PDA ligation on left ventricular myocardial function has not been studied using tissue Doppler and myocardial deformation imaging, mainly because of the limited validation of these methods in preterm infants. The primary objective of the present study was to determine the feasibility and reliability (intraobserver and interobserver variability) of tissue Doppler and myocardial deformation imaging for evaluating myocardial function in preterm infants undergoing surgical PDA ligation. Additionally, we sought to study the immediate effect of surgical ligation on the left ventricular tissue Doppler and strain measurements in the first 24 hours after surgery.


Echocardiography was performed in 19 preterm infants before, 1 hour after, and 18 hours after PDA ligation born at 24-29 weeks of gestation. The tissue Doppler velocities of the lateral tricuspid and lateral and septal mitral valve annuli were obtained. The global and regional longitudinal peak systolic strain values were determined using two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography. The results of the three measurement points were compared using repeated measures analysis of variance. The intra- and interobserver variability was assessed using the intraclass correlation coefficient and Bland-Altman analysis.


The median gestational age was 25.0 weeks (interquartile range 24.9-25.9) and the birth weight was 750 g (interquartile range 600-810). For the global longitudinal strain, the intraobserver intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.92 (95% CI, 0.78-0.97, P < .001), and the interobserver intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.93 (95% CI, 0.66-0.98, P < .001). Bland-Altman analysis showed no significant bias between the two observers, with good agreement. The systolic and diastolic tissue Doppler velocities of the mitral valve decreased significantly immediately after ligation and remained significantly lower than the preoperative levels at 18 hours. Also, the global longitudinal strain values significantly decreased 1 hour after the procedure (global longitudinal strain before -19.7% ± -3.8% vs -11.5% ± -3.5%; P = .001) but had significantly improved 18 hours after the procedure (-15.1% ± -2.9%, P = .01).


The present study has shown the feasibility and reliability of using tissue Doppler and strain imaging in premature infants with a hemodynamically significant PDA. Significant changes in myocardial function were observed immediately after PDA ligation, suggesting important changes in myocardial performance immediately after ductal ligation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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