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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 472562, 9 pages
Clinical Study

Speckle-Tracking and Tissue-Doppler Stress Echocardiography in Arterial Hypertension: A Sensitive Tool for Detection of Subclinical LV Impairment

1Department of Cardiology, Faculty of Health, School of Medicine, Witten/Herdecke University, Elberfelderstraße 1, 58095 Hagen, Germany
2HELIOS Children’s Hospital Wuppertal, Faculty of Health, Witten/Herdecke University, 42283 Wuppertal, Germany

Received 29 April 2014; Accepted 6 August 2014; Published 15 October 2014

Academic Editor: Michael Gotzmann

Copyright © 2014 Kai O. Hensel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Early diagnosis of cardiac alterations in hypertensive heart disease is still challenging. Since such patients might have depressed global LV systolic strain or strain rate when EF is still normal, speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) and tissue-Doppler imaging (TDI) combined with stress echocardiography might improve early diagnosis of cardiac alterations. In this prospective study standard 2D Doppler echocardiography, STE, and TDI were performed at rest and during bicycle exercise in 92 consecutive patients—46 hypertensive subjects with normal ejection fraction and 46 healthy controls. STE and TDI were used to measure global peak systolic LV circumferential strain (CS), longitudinal strain (LS), and longitudinal strain rate (SR). Mean arterial blood pressure was significantly higher in hypertensive patients at rest (100.8 mmHg SD 13.5 mmHg; ) and during physical exercise testing (124.2 mmHg SD 13.4 mmHg; ). Hypertensive patients had significantly reduced values of systolic CS (), LS (), and SR () at rest as well as during physical exercise—CS (), LS (), and SR (). Using STE and TDI, reduced LV systolic strain and strain rate consistent with early cardiac alterations can be detected in patients with arterial hypertension. These findings were evident at rest and markedly pronounced during exercise echocardiography.