Objective: This study was designed to examine the utility of two-dimensional strain (2DS) or speckle tracking imaging to typify functional adaptations of the left ventricle in variant forms of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Urban tertiary care academic medical centres. Participants: A total of 129 subjects, 56 with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), 34 with hypertensive left ventricular hypertrophy (H-LVH), 27 professional athletes with LVH (AT-LVH) and 12 healthy controls in sinus rhythm with preserved left ventricular systolic function. Methods: Conventional echocardiographic and tissue Doppler examinations were performed in all study subjects. Bi-dimensional acquisitions were analysed to map longitudinal systolic strain (automated function imaging, AFI, GE Healthcare, Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA) from apical views. Results: Subjects with HCM had significantly lower regional and average global peak longitudinal systolic strain (GLS-avg) compared with controls and other forms of LVH. Strain dispersion index, a measure of regional contractile heterogeneity, was higher in HCM compared with the rest of the groups. On receiver operator characteristics analysis, GLS-avg had excellent discriminatory ability to distinguish HCM from H-LVH area under curve (AUC) (0.893, p<0.001) or AT-LVH AUC (0.920, p<<0.001). Tissue Doppler and LV morphological parameters were better suited to differentiate the athlete heart from HCM. Conclusions: 2DS (AFI) allows rapid characterisation of regional and global systolic function and may have the potential to differentiate HCM from variant forms of LVH.
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