Quantitative assessment of systolic left ventricular function with speckle-tracking echocardiography in adult patients with repaired aortic coarctation
International Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging , Volume 32 - Issue 5 p. 777- 787
Despite successful aortic coarctation (CoA) repair, systemic hypertension often recurs which may influence left ventricular (LV) function. We aimed to detect early LV dysfunction using LV global longitudinal strain (GLS) in adults with repaired CoA, and to identify associations with patient and echocardiographic characteristics. In this cross-sectional study, patients with repaired CoA and healthy controls were recruited prospectively. All subjects underwent echocardiography, ECG and blood sampling within 1 day. With speckle-tracking echocardiography, we assessed LV GLS on the apical four-, three- and two-chamber views. We included 150 subjects: 75 patients (57 % male, age 33.4 ± 12.8 years, age at repair 2.5 [IQR: 0.1–11.1] years) and 75 healthy controls of similar sex and age. LV GLS was lower in patients than in controls (−17.1 ± 2.3 vs. −20.2 ± 1.6 %, P < 0.001). Eighty percent of the patients had a normal LV ejection fraction, but GLS was still lower than in controls (P < 0.001). In patients, GLS correlated with systolic and diastolic blood pressure (r = 0.32, P = 0.009; r = 0.31, P = 0.009), QRS duration (r = 0.34, P = 0.005), left atrial dimension (r = 0.27, P = 0.029), LV mass (r = 0.30, P = 0.014) and LV ejection fraction (r = −0.48, P < 0.001). Patients with either associated cardiac lesions, multiple cardiac interventions or aortic valve replacement had lower GLS than patients without. Although the majority of adults with repaired CoA seem to have a normal systolic LV function, LV GLS was decreased. Higher blood pressure, associated cardiac lesions, and larger left atrial dimension are related with lower GLS. Therefore, LV GLS may be used as objective criterion for early detection of ventricular dysfunction.