Mohamed Nashat1, Lamiaa Abdelghany Khedr2, Ebtsam Khairat2, Eman Elsheikh2
1 Department of Paediatrics, Aswan University, Aswan, Egypt
2 Department of Cardiology, Tanta University, Tanta, Egypt
Background : Beta-thalassemia major is the most common chronic hemolytic anemia among children and adolescents across the world. Several studies have demonstrated that thalassemic patients who have preserved left ventricle systolic function could still have subtle systolic dysfunction. Among patients with beta-thalassemia, early detection of transfusion-induced myocardial iron loading and its intervention with aggressive chelation therapy may delay or reverse heart failure. Two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography (2D-STE) is a novel tool that may detect early myocardial dysfunction in these patients.
Objective : The aim of this study was to investigate whether longitudinal strain based on speckle tracking can detect subtle right or left ventricular dysfunction.
Patients and Methods : Fifty thalassemic patients with preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (>55%), mean age of 14.75 ± 4.73 years, and thirty age-matched healthy control subjects have been included in the study. Conventional echo Doppler, tissue Doppler echocardiography, and 2D-STE were performed in all patients and control subjects.
Results : The right ventricular and left ventricular longitudinal strains were significantly lower in patients than in controls (21.67 ± 5.59 vs. 25.32 ± 2.29, P = 0.001 for right ventricular and 21.29 ± 3.49 vs. 24.90 ± 0.97, P = 0.001 for left ventricular).
Conclusions : The 2D-STE can detect early ventricular (left and right) systolic dysfunction in thalassemic patients in the presence of normal systolic function by conventional methods. It may be suggested that the assessment of global longitudinal strain (GLS) can be used as a useful and less expensive tool for screening myocardial iron overload, especially in countries with a limited magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) availability for logistic and economic reasons. Hence, we can refer positive cases with GLS to a higher center to do MRI and start intensive iron chelation treatment.
Dr. Mohamed Nashat
Department of Paediatrics, Aswan University, Aswan City, Aswan
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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