Echocardiographic predictors of early postsurgical myocardial dysfunction in pediatric patients with aortic valve insufficiency

Alexander Lowenthal, Theresa A. Tacy, Fariborz Behzadian, Rajesh Punn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In chronic aortic insufficiency (AI), left-ventricular (LV) dysfunction must be detected early to allow timely surgery. Strain and strain rate have been used for this purpose in adults, but the value of this method in pediatric AI has not been established. Forty patients with moderate to severe AI were included in this retrospective study. LV function was assessed by strain analysis and conventional echocardiography both before and after surgery. Of the 32 patients with preserved preoperative ejection fraction (EF; >50 %), 8 had postoperative dysfunction (<50 %). Mean conventional indices of global LV systolic performance for the entire cohort of patients with AI were predominantly in the normal range before surgery. Preoperative values for LV global longitudinal strain (GLS) and strain rate (GLSr) were normal. After surgery, there was a significant decrease in shortening and EF. There was a significant decrease from preoperative to postoperative values for both GLS (-16.07 ± 3.82 vs. -11.06 ± 3.88; p < 0.0001) and GLSr (-0.89 ± 0.24 vs. -0.72 ± 0.27; p = 0.0021). A preoperative GLS of -15.3 (AUC = 0.83, CI = 0.69-0.98, p < 0.0001) and a GLSr of -0.79/s (AUC = 0.86, CI = 0.73-0.98, p < 0.0001) were determined to be predictors of early postoperative dysfunction after surgical repair of moderate to severe AI. A preoperative GLS value of ≤-15.3 and GLSr value of -0.79/s or less are predictors of postoperative ventricular dysfunction, which is defined by EF <50 %. GLS and GLSr value determination may be useful as part of the echocardiographic assessment AI and may help determine the optimal timing of surgery in pediatric patient with at least moderate AI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1335-1343
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Aortic regurgitation
  • Echocardiography
  • Strain
  • Surgery


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