Tissue Strain Imaging

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The past several years has seen the development of strain and strain rate imaging as a quantitative method to precisely estimate myocardial contractility and function. In particular, non-Doppler 2D strain is a new echocardiography technique that is used to obtain strain and strain rate measurements. This technique analyzes motion through tracking speckles in a 2D ultrasonic image. Currently, there are software which allow the processing of spatial and temporal images through its recognition and selection on ultrasound images. Local tissue movement is represented by the geometric shift of each speckle. Speckle tracking allows the calculation of strain, strain rate, and 2D tissue velocity.

The non-Doppler 2D strain imaging is easy to perform as it only requires to acquire one cardiac cycle. Further interpretation and processing can be performed after image data acquisition. This techniques is angle-independent as it is not based on Doppler tissue measurements.

Supporting data for the validity, accuracy, and clinical application of this technique is accumulating quite rapidly, showing its potential for high clinical value as it enables accurate and rapid assessment and measurement of segmental and global myocardial function.