Reduced long axis strain is associated with heart failure and cardiovascular events in the multi-ethnic study of Atherosclerosis

Ola Gjesdal, Kihei Yoneyama, Nathan Mewton, Colin Wu, Antoinette S. Gomes, Gregory Hundley, Martin Prince, Steven Shea, Kiang Liu, David A. Bluemke, Joao A.C. Lima*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: To propose long axis strain (LAS), a novel index of global left ventricle (LV) function, as a sensitive and powerful predictor of hard cardiovascular events and heart failure in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA). Materials and Methods: Strain is an index of relative myocardial deformation, and enables normalization for differences in heart size. Measurement of strain conventionally requires dedicated software and protocols for image acquisition. LAS, however, can be analyzed using a caliper tool from conventional LV long axis magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) cine loops, reflecting the average myocardial contraction in the longitudinal direction. In all, 1651 participants (53% men) of the MESA study, without a history of myocardial infarction or heart failure, were assessed using conventional cine MR images. LV lengths were assessed at end-diastole (EDL) and end-systole (ESL), and LAS was calculated as 100*(EDL-ESL)/EDL. Participants were followed for 6.8 ± 1.8 years for a composite endpoint of congestive heart failure or hard cardiovascular events, and the predictive ability of LAS was tested, unadjusted and adjusted for established cardiovascular risk factors. Results: A total of 114 events were observed. Mean LAS was 11.7 ± 2.5% and 10.0 ± 2.7% in participants without and with events, respectively (P < 0.001). Increased LAS reduced the hazard ratio to 0.75 for univariate, and 0.88 for multivariate assessments, respectively (both P < 0.001). Conclusion: Assessment of long axis LV deformation by LAS is feasible and reproducible. Moreover, LAS predicts hard cardiovascular events and congestive heart failure in a multi-ethnic population without overt cardiovascular disease at inclusion. J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2016;44:178–185.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-185
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • long axis strain
  • multi-ethnic study
  • myocardial dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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