Circumferential and longitudinal ventricular strain in the normal human fetus

Tetsuko Ishii, Doff B. McElhinney, David M. Harrild, Edward N. Marcus, David J. Sahn, Uyen Truong, Wayne Tworetzky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Background: Echocardiography with speckle tracking is a novel, angle-independent technique for assessing global and regional cardiac function. Normal data on longitudinal strain have been reported for human fetuses. The aim of this study was to define circumferential left ventricular (LV) strain in a normal fetal population. Methods: Singleton fetuses between 17 and 42 weeks in gestational age with no adverse maternal health issues or fetal abnormalities were studied. Regional and averaged cardiac strain were measured using syngo Velocity Vector Imaging software. Results: Data from 81 fetuses were analyzed (mean gestational age, 29.2 ± 5.7 weeks). Overall, average midventricular circumferential strain was 18.7 ± 3.3%, LV longitudinal strain was 15.2 ± 2.7%, and right ventricular longitudinal strain was 16.0 ± 3.3%, with no correlation with gestational age. Conclusion: This is the first study to report normal fetal LV circumferential strain. These data may be useful as a reference for assessing fetal cardiac function. The retrospective study design and relatively low frame rates used in this study were important limitations.Echocardiography.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-111
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Circumferential strain
  • Echocardiography with speckle tracking
  • Fetus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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