Author(s): David H MacIver, Ismail Adeniran, Henggui Zhang
The purpose of this study was to determine the mathematical relationship between left ventricular ejection fraction and global myocardial strain. A reduction in myocardial strain would be expected to cause a fall in ejection fraction. However, there is abundant evidence that abnormalities of myocardial strain can occur with a normal ejection fraction. Explanations such as a compensatory increase in radial or circumferential strain are not supported by clinical studies. We set out to determine the biomechanical relationship between ejection fraction, wall thickness and global myocardial strain.
The study used an established abstract model of left ventricular contraction to examine the effect of global myocardial strain and wall thickness on ejection fraction. Equations for the relationship between ejection fraction, wall thickness and myocardial strain were obtained using curve fitting methods.
The mathematical relationship between ejection fraction, ventricular wall thickness and myocardial strain was derived as follows: φ = e(0.14Ln(ε) + 0.06)ω + (0.9Ln(ε) + 1.2), where φ is ejection fraction (%), ω is wall thickness (cm) and ε is myocardial strain (−%).
The findings of this study explain the coexistence of reduced global myocardial strain and normal ejection fraction seen in clinical observational studies. Our understanding of the pathophysiological processes in heart failure and associated conditions is substantially enhanced. These results provide a much better insight into the biophysical inter-relationship between myocardial strain and ejection fraction. This improved understanding provides an essential foundation for the design and interpretation of future clinical mechanistic and prognostic studies.Arrhythmia: Open Access