Background: The objective assessment of global and regional cardiac function in children has shown to be clinically relevant but is challenging to conduct. Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) has emerged as a valuable diagnostic modality especially in patients with cardiomyopathy or congenital heart disease. However, data on the normal cardiac deformation in children assessed by CMR is lacking at present. Thus, the aim of this study was to provide reference values for cardiac strain and strain rate in children and adolescents derived from CMR feature tracking (FT) measurements. Methods: In this binational study, eighty children and adolescents (age 0.4-18.0 years, 41 male, 39 female) free from cardiac diseases from two centers underwent CMR in 1.5 T whole-body scanners in supine position. Global peak radial, circumferential and longitudinal systolic strains as well as the corresponding early peak diastolic strain rates were assessed applying FT on short axis as well as 3- and 4-chamber views of standard cine steady-state free precession images. Results: The difference between genders yielded no significance for all assessed strains. Yet, all strains showed a significant parabolic relation to age and an even stronger one to body surface area (BSA). Therefore, BSA-specific reference values were determined using a polynomial regression model. The apical cardiac segments featured significant higher peak circumferential but lower peak radial systolic strains than the midventricular and basal segments (all p < 0.001). Conclusions: The assessment of cardiac deformation by CMR-FT is feasible in children. This is the first CMR study providing specific reference values for FT-derived strain and strain rate in the pediatric age range.

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Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (Print)
Department of Radiology

André, F. (Florian), Robbers-Visser, D., Helling-Bakki, A. (Astrid), Föll, A. (Angela), Voss, A. (Andreas), Katus, H., … Eichhorn, J. (2016). Quantification of myocardial deformation in children by cardiovascular magnetic resonance feature tracking: determination of reference values for left ventricular strain and strain rate. Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (Print), 19(1), 1–13. doi:10.1186/s12968-016-0310-x