Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging feature tracking: Impact of training on observer performance and reproducibility.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Cardiovascular magnetic resonance feature tracking (CMR-FT) is increasingly used for myocardial deformation assessment including ventricular strain, showing prognostic value beyond established risk markers if used in experienced centres. Little is known about the impact of appropriate training on CMR-FT performance. Consequently, this study aimed to evaluate the impact of training on observer variance using different commercially available CMR-FT software. METHODS:Intra- and inter-observer reproducibility was assessed prior to and after dedicated one-hour observer training. Employed FT software included 3 different commercially available platforms (TomTec, Medis, Circle). Left (LV) and right (RV) ventricular global longitudinal as well as LV circumferential and radial strains (GLS, GCS and GRS) were studied in 12 heart failure patients and 12 healthy volunteers. RESULTS:Training improved intra- and inter-observer reproducibility. GCS and LV GLS showed the highest reproducibility before (ICC >0.86 and >0.81) and after training (ICC >0.91 and >0.92). RV GLS and GRS were more susceptible to tracking inaccuracies and reproducibility was lower. Inter-observer reproducibility was lower than intra-observer reproducibility prior to training with more pronounced improvements after training. Before training, LV strain reproducibility was lower in healthy volunteers as compared to patients with no differences after training. Whilst LV strain reproducibility was sufficient within individual software solutions inter-software comparisons revealed considerable software related variance. CONCLUSION:Observer experience is an important source of variance in CMR-FT derived strain assessment. Dedicated observer training significantly improves reproducibility with most profound benefits in states of high myocardial contractility and potential to facilitate widespread clinical implementation due to optimized robustness and diagnostic performance.
Project description:Since cardiovascular magnetic resonance feature-tracking (CMR-FT) has been demonstrated to be of incremental clinical merit we investigated the interchangeability of global left and right ventricular strain parameters between different CMR-FT software solutions.CMR-cine images of 10 patients without significant reduction in LVEF and RVEF and 10 patients with a significantly impaired systolic function were analyzed using two different types of FT-software (TomTec, Germany; QStrain, Netherlands). Global longitudinal strains (LV GLS, RV GLS), global left ventricular circumferential (GCS) and radial strains (GRS) were assessed. Differences in intra- and inter-observer variability within and between software types based on single and up to three repeated and subsequently averaged measurements were evaluated.Inter-vendor agreement was highest for GCS followed by LV GLS. GRS and RV GLS showed lower inter-vendor agreement. Variability was consistently higher in healthy volunteers as compared to the patient group. Intra-vendor reproducibility was excellent for GCS, LV GLS and RV GLS, but lower for GRS. The impact of repeated measurements was most pronounced for GRS and RV GLS on an intra-vendor level.Cardiac pathology has no influence on CMR-FT reproducibility. LV GLS and GCS qualify as the most robust parameters within and between individual software types. Since both parameters can be interchangeably assessed with different software solutions they may enter the clinical arena for optimized diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in various pathologies.
Project description:Myocardial deformation assessed by speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) is increasingly used for diagnosis, monitoring and prognosis in patients with clinical and pre-clinical cardiovascular diseases. Feature tracking cardiac magnetic resonance (FT-CMR) also allows myocardial deformation analysis. To clarify whether the two modalities can be used interchangeably, we compared myocardial deformation analysis by FT-CMR with STE in patients with a variety of cardiovascular diseases and healthy subjects. We included 40 patients and 10 healthy subjects undergoing cardiac magnetic resonance and echocardiographic examination for left ventricular volumetric assessment. We studied patients with heart failure and reduced ejection fraction (n = 10), acute perimyocarditis (n = 10), aortic valve stenosis (n = 10), and previous heart transplantation (n = 10) by global longitudinal (GLS), radial (GRS) and circumferential strain (GCS). Myocardial deformation analysis by FT-CMR was feasible in all but one participant. While GLS, GRS and GCS measured by FT-CMR correlated overall with STE (r = 0.74 and p < 0.001, r = 0.58 and p < 0.001, and r = 0.76 and p < 0.001), the correlations were not consistent within subgroups. GLS was systematically lower, whereas GRS and GCS were higher by FT-CMR compared to STE (p = 0.04 and p < 0.0001). Inter- and intra-observer reproducibility were comparable for FT-CMR and STE overall and across subgroups. In conclusion, myocardial deformation can be evaluated using FT-CMR applied to routine cine-CMR images in patients with a variety of cardiovascular diseases. However, correlation between FT-CMR and STE was modest and agreement was not optimal due to systematic bias regarding GLS and GCS. Consequently, FT-CMR and STE should not be used interchangeably for myocardial strain evaluation.
Project description:AIMS:A multitude of cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) techniques are used for myocardial strain assessment; however, studies comparing them are limited. We sought to compare global longitudinal (GLS), circumferential (GCS), segmental longitudinal (SLS), and segmental circumferential (SCS) strain values, as well as reproducibility between CMR feature tracking (FT), tagging (TAG), and fast-strain-encoded (fast-SENC) CMR techniques. METHODS AND RESULTS:Eighteen subjects (11 healthy volunteers and seven patients with heart failure) underwent two CMR scans (1.5T, Philips) with identical parameters. Global and segmental strain values were measured using FT (Medis), TAG (Medviso), and fast-SENC (Myocardial Solutions). Friedman's test, linear regression, Pearson's correlation coefficient, and Bland-Altman analyses were used to assess differences and correlation in measured GLS and GCS between the techniques. Two-way mixed intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC), coefficient of variance (COV), and Bland-Altman analysis were used for reproducibility assessment. All techniques correlated closely for GLS (Pearson's r: 0.86-0.92) and GCS (Pearson's r: 0.85-0.94). Intra-observer and inter-observer reproducibility was excellent in all techniques for both GLS (ICC 0.92-0.99, CoV 2.6-10.1%) and GCS (ICC 0.89-0.99, CoV 4.3-10.1%). Inter-study reproducibility was similar for all techniques for GLS (ICC 0.91-0.96, CoV 9.1-10.8%) and GCS (ICC 0.95-0.97, CoV 7.6-10.4%). Combined segmental intra-observer reproducibility was good in all techniques for SLS (ICC 0.914-0.953, CoV 12.35-24.73%) and SCS (ICC 0.885-0.978, CoV 10.76-19.66%). Combined inter-study SLS reproducibility was the worst in FT (ICC 0.329, CoV 42.99%), while fast-SENC performed the best (ICC 0.844, CoV 21.92%). TAG had the best reproducibility for combined inter-study SCS (ICC 0.902, CoV 19.08%), while FT performed the worst (ICC 0.766, CoV 32.35%). Bland-Altman analysis revealed considerable inter-technique biases for GLS (FT vs. fast-SENC 3.71%; FT vs. TAG 8.35%; and TAG vs. fast-SENC 4.54%) and GCS (FT vs. fast-SENC 2.15%; FT vs. TAG 6.92%; and TAG vs. fast-SENC 2.15%). Limits of agreement for GLS ranged from ±3.1 (TAG vs. fast-SENC) to ±4.85 (FT vs. TAG) for GLS and ±2.98 (TAG vs. fast-SENC) to ±5.85 (FT vs. TAG) for GCS. CONCLUSIONS:We found significant differences in measured GLS and GCS between FT, TAG, and fast-SENC. Global strain reproducibility was excellent for all techniques. Acquisition-based techniques had better reproducibility than FT for segmental strain.
Project description:Myocardial deformation is a sensitive marker of sub-clinical myocardial dysfunction that carries independent prognostic significance across a broad range of cardiovascular diseases. It is now possible to perform 3D feature tracking of SSFP cines on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (FT-CMR). This study provides reference ranges for 3D FT-CMR and assesses its reproducibility compared to 2D FT-CMR. One hundred healthy individuals with 10 men and women in each of 5 age deciles from 20 to 70 years, underwent 2D and 3D FT-CMR of left ventricular myocardial strain and strain rate using SSFP cines. Good health was defined by the absence of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, dyslipidaemia, or any cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, haematological and systemic inflammatory disease. Normal values for myocardial strain assessed by 3D FT-CMR were consistently lower compared with 2D FT-CMR measures [global circumferential strain (GCS) 3D -?17.6?±?2.6% vs. 2D -?20.9?±?3.7%, P?<?0.005]. Validity of 3D FT-CMR was confirmed against other markers of systolic function. The 3D algorithm improved reproducibility compared to 2D, with GCS having the best inter-observer agreement [intra-class correlation (ICC) 0.88], followed by global radial strain (GRS; ICC 0.79) and global longitudinal strain (GLS, ICC 0.74). On linear regression analyses, increasing age was weakly associated with increased GCS (R2?=?0.15, R?=?0.38), peak systolic strain rate, peak late diastolic strain rate, and lower peak early systolic strain rate. 3D FT-CMR offers superior reproducibility compared to 2D FT-CMR, with circumferential strain and strain rates offering excellent intra- and inter-observer variability. Normal range values for myocardial strain measurements using 3D FT-CMR are provided.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Parameters of myocardial deformation have been suggested to be superior to conventional measures of ventricular function in patients with tetralogy of Fallot (ToF), but have required non-routine, tagged cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) techniques. We assessed biventricular myocardial function using CMR cine-based feature tracking (FT) and compared it to speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) and to simple endocardial border delineation (EBD). In addition, the relation between parameters of myocardial deformation and clinical parameters was assessed. METHODS: Overall, 28 consecutive adult patients with repaired ToF (age 40.4?±?13.3?years) underwent standard steady-state-free precession sequence CMR, echocardiography, and cardiopulmonary exercise testing. In addition, 25 healthy subjects served as controls. Myocardial deformation was assessed by CMR based FT (TomTec Diogenes software), CMR based EBD (using custom written software) and STE (TomTec Cardiac Performance Analysis software). RESULTS: Feature tracking was feasible in all subjects. A close agreement was found between measures of global left (LV) and right ventricular (RV) global strain. Interobserver agreement for FT and STE was similar for longitudinal LV global strain, but FT showed better inter-observer reproducibility than STE for circumferential or radial LV and longitudinal RV global strain. Reproducibility of regional strain on FT was, however, poor. The relative systolic length change of the endocardial border measured by EBD yielded similar results to FT global strain. Clinically, biventricular longitudinal strain on FT was reduced compared to controls (P?<?0.0001) and was related to the number of previous cardiac operations. In addition, FT derived RV strain was related to exercise capacity and VE/VCO2-slope. CONCLUSIONS: Although neither the inter-study reproducibility nor accuracy of FT software were investigated, and its inter-observer reproducibility for regional strain calculation was poor, its calculations of global systolic strain showed similar or better inter-oberver reproducibility than those by STE, and could be applied across RV image regions inaccessible to echo. 'Global strain' calculated by EBD gave similar results to FT. Measurements made using FT related to exercise tolerance in ToF patients suggesting that the approach could have clinical relevance and deserves further study.
Project description:The aim of this study was to investigate left ventricular (LV) global myocardial strain and LV involvement characteristics in patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C) and to evaluate their predictive value of adverse cardiac events. Sixty consecutive ARVD/C patients with a definite diagnosis of ARVD/C who underwent CMR examination and thirty-four healthy controls were enrolled retrospectively. The CMR images were analyzed for LV myocardial strain and the presence of LV involvement. The endpoint was defined as a composite of sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation, cardiac death, resuscitated cardiac arrest, heart transplantation, and appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator shock. LV global longitudinal (GLS), circumferential (GCS), and radial strain (GRS) were significantly impaired in ARVC/D patients compared to healthy controls (GLS: -13.89 ± 3.26% vs. -16.68 ± 2.74%, GCS: -15.65 ± 3.40% vs. -19.20 ± 2.23%, GRS: 34.57 ± 11.98% vs. 49.92 ± 12.59%; P < 0.001 for all). Even in ARVC/D patients with preserved LVEF, LV GLS, GCS and GRS were also significantly reduced than in controls. During a mean follow-up period of 4.10 ± 1.77 years, the endpoint was reached in 17 patients. LV GLS >-12.65% (HR, 3.58; 95%CI, 1.14 to 11.25; p = 0.029) and history of syncope (HR, 4.99; 95%CI, 1.88 to 13.24; p = 0.001) were the only independent predictors of cardiac outcomes. The LV myocardial deformation derived from FT CMR was significantly impaired in ARVD/C patients, and this alteration can occur before the impairment of LVEF. LV GLS >-12.65% and history of syncope were the only independent prognostic markers of adverse cardiac outcomes.
Project description:Background and objective: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) - based feature tracking (FT) can detect left ventricular (LV) strain abnormalities in pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients, but little is known about the prognostic value of LV function and mechanics in PH patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate LV systolic function by conventional CMR and LV global strains by CMR-based FT analysis in precapillary PH patients, thereby defining the prognostic value of LV function and mechanics. Methods: We prospectively enrolled 43 patients with precapillary PH (mean pulmonary artery pressure (mPAP) 55.91 ± 15.87 mmHg, pulmonary arterial wedge pressure (PAWP) ?15 mmHg) referred to CMR for PH evaluation. Using FT software, the LV global longitudinal strain (GLS) and global circumferential strain (GCS), also right ventricular (RV) GLS were analyzed. Results: Patients were classified into two groups according to survival (survival/non-survival). LV GLS was significantly reduced in the non-survival group (-12.4% [-19.0?(-7.8)] vs. -18.4% [-22.5?(-15.5)], p = 0.009). By ROC curve analysis, LV GLS > -14.2% (CI: 3.229 to 37.301, p < 0.001) was found to be robust predictor of mortality in PH patients. Univariable analysis using the Cox model showed that severely reduced LV GLS > -14.2%, with good sensitivity (77.8%) and high specificity (93.5%) indicated an increase of the risk of death by 11-fold. LV GLS significantly correlated in PH patients with RV ESVI (r = 0.322, p = 0.035), RV EF (r = 0.444, p < 0.003). Conclusions: LV systolic function and LV global longitudinal strain measurements using CMR-FT correlates with RV dysfunction and is associated with poor clinical outcomes in precapillary PH patients.
Project description:PURPOSE:To determine whether the semi-automated two-dimensional echocardiography (2DE) layer strain software, compared to cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR), is reliable for left ventricular (LV) volume quantification. METHODS AND RESULTS:We retrospectively selected 84 patients who underwent CMR and 2DE on the same day. Novel 2DE layer strain software automatically provides LV contour in 3 myocardial layers and performs layer specific speckle tracking analysis, which calculates LV volumes, ejection fraction (LVEF), and global longitudinal strain (GLS) in each layer. These values were compared with reference values from CMR disk-area summation and feature tracking methods. Coverage probability (CP) was determined using predefined cut-off values and absolute differences in LV volumes of 30 mL, those in LVEF of 10%, and those in GLS of 4%. The software did not work in 3 patients (feasibility: 96%). Different layers resulted in different degrees of under- or over-estimation of LV volumes. Epicardial tracking significantly overestimated the LV volumes and significantly underestimated LVEF and GLS. Mid-myocardial tracking had less underestimation of LV volumes and equivalent CP values of LVEF (0.77 vs. 0.75 using the disk-area summation method and 0.90 vs. 0.94 using the feature tracking method) and GLS (0.95 vs. 0.92) compared with endocardial tracking. The new software showed excellent reproducibility, especially endocardial and mid-myocardial tracking. CONCLUSIONS:Mid-myocardial tracking with the novel 2DE strain software provided less bias of LV volumes with high CP values of LVEF and GLS, which suggests that mid-myocardial layer speckle tracking analysis approximates CMR derived LV functional parameters.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hypertensive heart disease (HHD) and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) are both associated with an increased left ventricular (LV) wall thickness. Whilst LV ejection fraction is frequently normal in both, LV strain assessment could differentiate between the diseases. We sought to establish if cardiovascular magnetic resonance myocardial feature tracking (CMR-FT), an emerging method allowing accurate assessment of myocardial deformation, differentiates between both diseases. Additionally, CMR assessment of fibrosis and LV hypertrophy allowed association analyses and comparison of diagnostic capacities. METHODS:Two-hundred twenty-four consecutive subjects (53 HHD, 107 HCM, and 64 controls) underwent 1.5T CMR including native myocardial T1 mapping and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE). Global longitudinal strain (GLS) was assessed by CMR-FT (CVi42, Circle Cardiovascular Imaging Inc.). RESULTS:GLS was significantly higher in HCM patients (-14.7±3.8 vs. -16.5±3.3% [HHD], P = 0.004; or vs. -17.2±2.0% [controls], P<0.001). GLS was associated with LV mass index (HHD, R = 0.419, P = 0.002; HCM, R = 0.429, P<0.001), and LV ejection fraction (HHD, R = -0.493, P = 0.002; HCM, R = -0.329, P<0.001). In HCM patients, GLS was also associated with global native T1 (R = 0.282, P = 0.003), and LGE volume (? = 0.380, P<0.001). Discrimination between HHD and HCM by GLS (c = 0.639, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.550-0.729) was similar to LV mass index (c = 0.643, 95% CI 0.556-0.731), global myocardial native T1 (c = 0.718, 95% CI 0.638-0.799), and LGE volume (c = 0.680, 95% CI 0.585-0.775). CONCLUSION:CMR-FT GLS differentiates between HHD and HCM. In HCM patients GLS is associated with myocardial fibrosis. The discriminatory capacity of CMR-FT GLS is similar to LV hypertrophy and fibrosis imaging markers.
Project description:Left ventricular global longitudinal strain (LVGLS) analysis is a sensitive measurement of myocardial deformation most often done using speckle-tracking transthoracic echocardiography (TTE). We propose a novel approach to measure LVGLS using feature-tracking software on the magnitude dataset of 4D flow cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) and compare it to dynamic computed tomography (CT) and speckle tracking TTE derived measurements. In this prospective cohort study 59 consecutive adult patients with a bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) were included. The study protocol consisted of TTE, CT, and CMR on the same day. Image analysis was done using dedicated feature-tracking (4D flow CMR and CT) and speckle-tracking (TTE) software, on apical 2-, 3-, and 4-chamber long-axis multiplanar reconstructions (4D flow CMR and CT) or standard apical 2-, 3-, and 4-chamber acquisitions (TTE). CMR and CT GLS analysis was feasible in all patients. Good correlations were observed for GLS measured by CMR (-?21?±?3%) and CT (-?20?±?3%) versus TTE (-?20?±?3%, Pearson's r: 0.67 and 0.65, p?<?0.001). CMR also correlated well with CT (Pearson's r 0.62, p?<?0.001). The inter-observer analysis showed moderate to good reproducibility of GLS measurement by CMR, CT and TTE (Pearsons's r: 0.51, 0.77, 0.70 respectively; p?<?0.05). Additionally, ejection fraction (EF), end-diastolic and end-systolic volume measurements (EDV and ESV) correlated well between all modalities (Pearson's r?>?0.61, p?<?0.001). Feature-tracking GLS analysis is feasible using the magnitude images acquired with 4D flow CMR. GLS measurement by CMR correlates well with CT and speckle-tracking 2D TTE. GLS analysis on 4D flow CMR allows for an integrative approach, integrating flow and functional data in a single sequence. Not applicable, observational study.