Right Ventricular Strain by Magnetic Resonance Feature Tracking Is Largely Afterload-Dependent and Does Not Reflect Contractility: Validation by Combined Volumetry and Invasive Pressure Tracings


Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) is currently the gold standard for evaluating right ventricular (RV) function, which is critical in patients with pulmonary hypertension. CMR featuretracking (FT) strain analysis has emerged as a technique to detect subtle changes. However, the dependence of RV strain on load is still a matter of debate. The aim of this study was to measure the afterload dependence of RV strain and to correlate it with surrogate markers of contractility in a cohort of patients with chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) under two different loading conditions before and after pulmonary endarterectomy (PEA). Between 2009 and 2022, 496 patients with 601 CMR examinations were retrospectively identified from our CTEPH cohort, and the results of 194 examinations with right heart catheterization within 24 h were available. The CMR FT strain (longitudinal (GLS) and circumferential (GCS)) was computed on steady-state free precession (SSFP) cine CMR sequences. The effective pulmonary arterial elastance (Ea) and RV chamber elastance (Ees) were approximated by dividing mean pulmonary arterial pressure by the indexed stroke volume or end-systolic volume, respectively. GLS and GCS correlated significantly with Ea and Ees/Ea in the overall cohort and individually before and after PEA. There was no general correlation with Ees; however, under high afterload, before PEA, Ees correlated significantly. The results show that RV GLS and GCS are highly afterload-dependent and reflect ventriculoarterial coupling. Ees was significantly correlated with strain only under high loading conditions, which probably reflects contractile adaptation to pulsatile load rather than contractility in general.




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Diagnostics 12 (2022), 1 - 12, 3183




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