Role of two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography strain in the assessment of right ventricular systolic function and comparison with conventional parameters


Aurora Cardiovascular Services, Aurora Sinai/Aurora St. Luke's Medical Centers


Despite the already well-known role the right side of the heart plays in many diseases, right ventricular (RV) function has only recently been carefully considered. Echocardiography is the first-line diagnostic technique for the assessment of the right ventricle and right atrium, whereas cardiac magnetic resonance is considered the gold standard but is limited by cost and availability. According to the current guidelines, systolic RV function should be assessed by several conventional measurements, but the efficacy of these parameters as diagnostic and prognostic tools has been questioned by many authors. The development in recent years of myocardial deformation imaging techniques and their application to the right heart chambers has allowed deeper evaluation of the importance of RV function in the pathophysiology of a large number of cardiovascular conditions, but the real value of this new tool has not been completely clarified. The aim of this review is to provide a wide and careful analysis of findings available in the literature about the assessment of RV systolic function by strain measurements, comparing them with conventional parameters and evaluating their role in several clinical settings.

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