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Natural shear wave imaging in the human heart: normal values, feasibility and reproducibility

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Left ventricular myocardial stiffness could offer superior quantification of cardiac systolic and diastolic function when compared to the current diagnostic tools.Shear wave elastography in combination with acoustic radiation force has been widely proposed to non-invasively assess tissue stiffness. Interestingly, shear waves can also result from intrinsic cardiac mechanical events (e.g., closure of valves) without the need for external excitation. However, it remains unknown whether these natural shear waves always occur, how reproducible they can be detected and what the normal range of shear wave propagation speed is.The present study therefore aimed at establishing the feasibility of detecting shear waves created after mitral valve closure (MVC) and aortic valve closure (AVC), the variability of the measurements, and at reporting the normal values of propagation velocity. Hereto, a group of 30 healthy volunteers was scanned with high frame rate imaging (>1000 Hz) using an experimental ultrasound system transmitting a diverging wave sequence. Tissue Doppler velocity and acceleration were used to create septal color M-modes, on which the shear waves were tracked and their velocities measured.Overall the methodology was capable of detecting the transient vibrations that spread throughout the intraventricular septum in response to the closure of the cardiac valves in 92% of the recordings. Reference velocities of 3.2±0.6 m/s at MVC and 3.5±0.6 m/s at AVC were obtained.Moreover, in order to show the diagnostic potential of this approach, 2 patients (one with cardiac amyloidosis and one undergoing a dobutamine stress echocardiography) were scanned with the same protocol and showed markedly higher propagation speeds: the former presented velocities of 6.6 m/s and 5.6 m/s; the latter revealed normal propagation velocities at baseline, and largely increased during the dobutamine infusion (>15 m/s). Both cases showed values consistent with the expected changes in stiffness and cardiac loading conditions.
Journal: IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
ISSN: 0885-3010
Issue: 3
Volume: 66
Pages: 442 - 452
BOF-publication weight:1
CSS-citation score:2
Authors from:Higher Education