Vol 24, No 5 (2017)
Review articles — Clinical cardiology
Published online: 2017-04-27

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Echocardiographic evaluation of right ventricular systolic function: The traditional and innovative approach

Dorota Smolarek1, Marcin Gruchała, Wojciech Sobiczewski
Pubmed: 28497844
Cardiol J 2017;24(5):563-572.


Estimation of right ventricular (RV) performance still remains technically challenging due to its anatomical and functional distinctiveness. The current guidelines for the echocardiographic quantification of RV function recommend using multiple indices to describe the RV in a thorough and comprehensive manner, such as RV index of myocardial performance, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, fractional area change, Doppler tissue imaging-derived tricuspid lateral annular systolic velocity (S’-wave), three-dimensional RV ejection fraction (3D RVEF), RV longitudinal strain (RVLS)/strain rate by speckle- tracking echocardiography (STE). Among these, the last one mentioned here is an innovative and a particularly promising tool that yields more precise information about complex regional and global RV mechanics. STE was initially designed to evaluate left ventricular function, but recently it has been introduced to assess RV performance, which is difficult due to its unique structure and physiology. Many studies have shown that both free wall and 6-segment RVLS present a stronger correlation with the RVEF assessed by cardiac magnetic resonance than conventional parameters and seem to be more sensitive in detecting myocardial dysfunction at an earlier, subclinical stage  

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