AIMS: Valvular event timing is an integral part of echocardiographic pressure-strain loop (PSL) analyses. The impact that different event timing modalities may have on myocardial work indices is unknown.
METHODS AND RESULTS: A methodological study was performed on 200 subjects, including 50 healthy subjects, 50 with aortic valve sclerosis, 50 with atrial fibrillation, and 50 with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction. Valvular event timing was estimated by visual assessment, spectral Doppler, and colour tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) M-mode. These valvular event timings were added to the same PSL analyses sequentially to acquire myocardial work indices, including global work index (GWI). For the 200 participants, the median age was 72 years, 50% were men, and mean blood pressure was 143/80 mmHg. Valvular event timings differed between all three modalities and so did all myocardial work indices. Compared with visual assessment, spectral Doppler resulted in a significantly higher GWI (mean difference: 114 ± 93 mmHg%, P < 0.001), and so did TDI (mean difference: 83 ± 90 mmHg%, P < 0.001). A higher GWI by spectral Doppler than by TDI was also observed (mean difference: 30 ± 53 mmHg%, P < 0.001). In the healthy subgroup, a systematic bias was observed for spectral Doppler compared with visual assessment (mean difference: 160 ± 77 mmHg%, P < 0.001), and a similar trend was noted for TDI vs. visual assessment (mean difference: 124 ± 74 mmHg%, P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Myocardial work indices differ depending on the event timing modality used, with visual assessment yielding lower GWI values compared with Doppler-based methods. Serial PSL analyses should apply the same event timing method.