Atrial and Ventricular Deformation Analysis in Normal Fetal Hearts Using Two-Dimensional Speckle Tracking Echocardiography.Fetal Diagn Ther. 2020 Jul 02 [Online ahead of print]FD
Two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (2D-STE)-based strain values of the left and the right ventricle have been established; however, less is known about atrial deformation. The aim of our study was to assess both atrial strain and ventricular strain using 2D-STE in a cardiac 4-chamber view and to investigate the effect of possible influencing factors such as gestational age.
Fetal echocardiography was performed on a Toshiba Aplio 500 ultrasound system. Based on an apical or basal 4-chamber view of the fetal heart, left and right ventricular longitudinal peak systolic strain (LVLPSS and RVLPSS) as well as left and right atrial longitudinal peak systolic strain (LALPSS and RALPSS) were assessed by 2D-STE.
A total of 101 healthy fetuses were included. The mean gestational age (GA) was 26.0 ± 5.6 weeks. GA was significantly positively correlated (p < 0.05) with LVLPSS and RVLPSS and significantly negatively correlated (p < 0.05) with LALPSS and RALPSS. The mean values for LVLPSS and RVLPSS were -17.44 ± 2.29% and -16.89 ± 1.72%. The mean values for LALPSS and RALPSS were 34.09 ± 4.17% and 35.36 ± 2.90%.
Ventricular and atrial deformation analysis in 2D-STE was technically feasible and showed comparable values to current data. For future research on myocardial function (MF) of the fetus, considering GA as an influencing factor for deformation analysis seems to be adequate. Especially, atrial deformation analysis allows the assessment of diastolic myocardial function. Further research needs to clarify the clinical meaning of these myocardial deformation indices in fetuses at risk.