Persistent reduction in left ventricular strain using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography after balloon valvuloplasty in children with congenital valvular aortic stenosis

K. Marcus, C. de Korte, T. Feuth, J. Thijssen, A. van Oort, R. Tanke and L. Kapusta

Children's Heart Centre, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
May, 2012



The aim of this study was to investige serial changes of myocardial deformation using two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiographic (2DSTE) imaging in children undergoing balloon valvuloplasty for congenital valvular aortic stenosis (VAS).Thirty-seven children with isolated congenital VAS were enrolled in this study prospectively. Patients underwent echocardiographic evaluation at three instances: before balloon valvuloplasty, 6 months after intervention, and 3 years after intervention. Longitudinal, circumferential, and radial peak systolic strain values were determined, as well as systolic strain rate and the time to peak global systolic strain. Linear mixed statistical models were used to assess changes in 2DSTE parameters after balloon intervention. Using one-way analysis of variance, 2DSTE results at 3-year follow-up were compared with 2DSTE measurements in 74 healthy age-matched children and 76 children with uncorrected VAS whose severity of stenosis corresponded to residual stenosis of study subjects at 3-year follow-up.Global peak strain and strain rate measurements in all three directions were decreased before intervention compared with healthy children. Global peak strain and strain rate measurements increased significantly (P < .001) several months after balloon valvuloplasty and continued to increase at 3-year follow-up. However, at 3-year follow-up, global peak strain and strain rate in the longitudinal and circumferential directions were significantly lower (P < .001) compared with both control groups. Measurements of time to peak global systolic strain were significantly shorter at early follow-up compared with measurements before intervention (P < .05).Shortly after balloon valvuloplasty for severe congenital VAS, there is an improvement in systolic myocardial deformation. However, 2DSTE parameters do not return to normal at 3-year follow-up. These abnormalities in systolic deformation cannot be fully attributed to residual stenosis or aortic regurgitation.