J Cardiovasc Imaging.  2021 Apr;29(2):147-157. 10.4250/jcvi.2020.0148.

Use of Speckle Tracking Echocardiography to Detect Induced Regional Strain Changes in the Murine Myocardium by Acoustic Radiation Force

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • 2Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA
  • 3Department of Physiology and Cell Biology, Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA
  • 4Department of Cardiology, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, PA, USA


It is difficult to simulate the abnormal myocardial strain patterns caused by ischemic coronary artery disease (CAD) which are a precursor to heart failure (HF) within an animal model. Simulation of these strain changes could contribute to better understanding of the early formative stages of HF. This is especially important in investigating the poorly understood pathogenesis of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Here, we discuss delivery of high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) in a murine model to alter left ventricular (LV) regional longitudinal strain (RLS), and use of speckle tracking echocardiography to detect these changes.
HIFU pulses (pressure amplitude 1.7 MPa) were generated by amplifying a sinusoidal waveform from a function generator into a piezoelectric transducer. These pulses were then directed extracorporeally towards the anterior LV surface of C57BI6 mice during three time periods (early, mid, and late diastole). Speckle tracking echocardiography was then used to quantify changes in RLS within six segments of the LV.
We observed an increase in LV RLS with acoustic augmentation during all three time periods. This augmentation was most prominent near the anterior apical region in early diastole and near the posterior basilar region during late diastole.
Our findings demonstrate the application of HIFU to non-invasively induce changes in RLS within a murine model. Our results also reflect the capability of speckle tracking echocardiography to analyze and quantify these changes. These findings represent the first demonstration of ultrasound-induced augmentation in LV RLS within a small animal model.


Echocardiography; Strains; High-intensity focused ultrasound therapy
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