Objectives: Using newly developed ultrasonic technology, we attempted to disclose the characteristics of the left ventricular (LV) contraction-extension (C-E) property, which has an important relationship to LV function. Methods: Strain rate (SR) distribution within the posterior wall and interventricular septum was microscopically measured with a high accuracy of 821. μm in spatial resolution by using the phase difference tracking method. The subjects were 10 healthy men (aged 30-50 years). Results: The time course of the SR distribution disclosed the characteristic C-E property, i.e. the contraction started from the apex and propagated toward the base on one hand, and from the epicardial side toward the endocardial side on the other hand. Therefore, the contraction of one area and the extension of another area simultaneously appeared through nearly the whole cardiac cycle, with the contracting part positively extending the latter part and vice versa. The time course of these propagations gave rise to the peristalsis and the bellows action of the LV wall, and both contributed to effective LV function.The LV contraction started coinciding in time with the P wave of the electrocardiogram, and the cardiac cycle was composed of 4 phases, including 2 types of transitional phase, as well as the ejection phase and slow filling phase. The sum of the measurement time duration of either the contraction or the extension process occupied nearly equal duration in normal conditions. Conclusion: The newly developed ultrasonic technology revealed that the SR distribution was important in evaluating the C-E property of the LV myocardium. The harmonious succession of the 4 cardiac phases newly identified seemed to be helpful in understanding the mechanism to keep long-lasting pump function of the LV.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine