• Echocardiography;
  • Strain;
  • Strain rate;
  • Tissue Doppler

Background: Strain (St) and strain rate (SR) imaging are new ultrasound modalities based on tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) that allow quantitative assessment of segmental myocardial contraction or stretching and rate of deformation, respectively.

Hypothesis: Regional peak systolic St and SR could allow repeatable and reproducible assessment of systolic function of the right (RVW) and left (LVFW) myocardial walls in dogs.

Animals: Six healthy Beagle dogs were used to determine the repeatability and reproducibility of regional peak systolic St and SR in the RVW and LVFW (Study 1). These variables were also assessed in 30 healthy dogs of several breeds (Study 2).

Methods: Longitudinal peak systolic St and SR were recorded in 2 segments (basal and apical) of the RVW and LVFW. Radial peak systolic St and SR of the LVFW were also assessed.

Results: All within-and most (7/10) between-day coefficients of variation were < 15%. Absolute values of the longitudinal deformation indices were significantly higher (P < .001) in the RVW (St = -39.5 ± 5.5% and SR = -5.2 ± 0.8 s-1 at the base; St = -36.3 ± 4.3% and SR = -4.7 ± 1.1 s-1 at the apex) than in the LVFW. Absolute values were also higher for the radial (St = 62.9 ± 10.4% and SR = 5.8 ± 1.1 s-1, P < .001) than for the longitudinal LFVW motions.

Conclusions and clinical importance: St and SR imaging is a repeatable and reproducible method for assessing systolic myocardial function. The combination of these indices with conventional echocardiographic variables may be useful for screening canine myocardial diseases.