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PMCID: PMC5909637 DOI: 10.1093/ehjci/jex167


Aims: The relationship between echocardiographic measures of left ventricular (LV) systolic function and reference-standard measures have not been assessed in children. The objective of this study was to assess the validity of echocardiographic indices of LV systolic function via direct comparison to a novel composite measure of contractility derived from pressure-volume loop (PVL) analysis.

Methods and results: Children with normal loading conditions undergoing routine left heart catheterization were prospectively enrolled. PVLs were obtained via conductance catheters. A composite invasive composite contractility index (ICCI) was developed using data reduction strategies to combine four measures of contractility derived from PVL analysis. Echocardiograms were performed immediately after PVL analysis under the same anesthetic conditions. Conventional and speckle-tracking echocardiographic measures of systolic function were measured. Of 24 patients, 18 patients were heart transplant recipients, 6 patients had a small patent ductus arteriosus or small coronary fistula. Mean age was 9.1 ± 5.6 years. Upon multivariable regression, longitudinal strain was associated with ICCI (β = -0.54, P = 0.02) while controlling for indices of preload, afterload, heart rate, and LV mass under baseline conditions. Ejection fraction and shortening fraction were associated with LV mass and load indices, but not contractility.

Conclusion: Speckle-tracking derived longitudinal strain is associated ICCI in children with normal loading conditions. Longitudinal measures of deformation appear to accurately assess LV contractility in children.

Journal Title

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Cardiac Catheterization; Child; Child, Preschool; Cohort Studies; Echocardiography; Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional; Female; Heart Defects, Congenital; Hospitals, University; Humans; Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted; Male; Monitoring, Physiologic; Myocardial Contraction; Prognosis; Prospective Studies; Stroke Volume; Ventricular Function, Left