Reduced and delayed untwisting of the left ventricle in patients with hypertension and left ventricular hypertrophy: A study using two-dimensional speckle tracking imaging

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



European Heart Journal








Left ventricular hypertrophy; Relaxation; Two-dimensional speckle tracking; Untwisting


Aims: Newly developed two-dimensional ultrasound speckle tracking imaging allows measurements of left ventricular (LV) rotation and twist. Because LV untwisting predominantly occurs during the isovolumic relaxation period, its assessment reflects the process of LV relaxation. The aim of this study was to examine whether LV hypertrophy (LVH) adversely affects LV untwisting and abnormalities in LV untwisting could become a novel marker in assessing LV relaxation abnormalities. Methods and results: We acquired basal and apical LV short-axis images in 49 hypertensive patients. Using two-dimensional strain software, a time-domain speckle tracking was performed, and the mean value of LV rotation was obtained at each plane. LV twist was defined as apical rotation relative to the base. In order to adjust for inter-subject differences in heart rate, the time sequence was normalized to the percentage of systolic and diastolic duration. The degree of LV untwisting was calculated as the percentage of systolic twist: untwisting = (TwistES-Twistt/ TwistES) × 100, where Twistt is twist at time t and TwistES is twist at end-systole. Although peak systolic twist was not different, early diastolic LV untwisting and untwisting rate during isovolumic relaxation period was significantly delayed and reduced in parallel to the severity of LVH, as assessed by LV mass index. Conclusion: The observed delayed and reduced diastolic untwisting during the isovolumic relaxation period noted in hypertensive patients with LVH may contribute towards the LV relaxation abnormality. Two-dimensional speckle tracking imaging is a novel tool which can be used for the non-invasive assessment of LV relaxation. © The Author 2007.