Article Type

Original Study


Background Aortic regurgitation (AR) results in left ventricular (LV) hemodynamic changes ranging from maladaptive hypertrophy and dilatation to heart failure. Conventional echocardiography and tissue doppler imaging are unable to reveal the early abnormalities in LV function caused by AR; however, two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (2D STE) provides an objective way to detect subtle LV changes among AR patients. Objective The aim of this study was to assess functional changes in the myocardium in asymptomatic patients with AR using 2D STE-based strain and strain rate measurement, and its usefulness in early detection of subclinical LV dysfunction. Materials and methods Fifty asymptomatic patients with significant AR and 20 age and sex-matched healthy individuals were examined using conventional echocardiography, tissue doppler imaging, and 2D STE-based measurement of global and segmental LV systolic longitudinal strain (εsys), systolic strain rate (SRs), and early strain rate (SRe) and late (SRa) diastolic strain rates. Results The AR group showed significant reduction in global systolic strain (εsys) compared with the control group. Global LV longitudinal systolic SRs, diastolic SRe, and SRa were significantly reduced in the AR group in comparison with the control group. In addition, peak εsys, SRs, SRe, and SRa showed negative correlation with LV mass index in AR. Conclusion Patients with AR had subclinical LV dysfunction using 2D STE-based strain and strain rate imaging. The index where volume was corrected by deformation should form the basis for predicting subclinical LV dysfunction in patients with increasing LV dilatation.