Reproducibility assessment of rapid strains in cardiac MRI: Insights and recommendations for clinical application


  • M.C. Halfmann
  • L.H.G.A. Hopman
  • H. Körperich
  • E. Blaszczyk
  • J. Gröschel
  • J. Schulz-Menger
  • J. Salatzki
  • F. André
  • S. Friedrich
  • T. Emrich


  • European Journal of Radiology


  • Eur J Radiol 174: 111386


  • PURPOSE: Studies have shown the incremental value of strain imaging in various cardiac diseases. However, reproducibility and generalizability has remained an issue of concern. To overcome this, simplified algorithms such as rapid atrioventricular strains have been proposed. This multicenter study aimed to assess the reproducibility of rapid strains in a real-world setting and identify potential predictors for higher interobserver variation. METHODS: A total of 4 sites retrospectively identified 80 patients and 80 healthy controls who had undergone cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) at their respective centers using locally available scanners with respective field strengths and imaging protocols. Strain and volumetric parameters were measured at each site and then independently re-evaluated by a blinded core lab. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots were used to assess inter-observer agreement. In addition, backward multiple linear regression analysis was performed to identify predictors for higher inter-observer variation. RESULTS: There was excellent agreement between sites in feature-tracking and rapid strain values (ICC = 0.96). Bland-Altman plots showed no significant bias. Bi-atrial feature-tracking and rapid strains showed equally excellent agreement (ICC = 0.96) but broader limits of agreement (=18.0 % vs. =3.5 %). Regression analysis showed that higher field strength and lower temporal resolution (>30 ms) independently predicted reduced interobserver agreement for bi-atrial strain parameters (ß = 0.38, p = 0.02 for field strength and ß = 0.34, p = 0.02 for temporal resolution). CONCLUSION: Simplified rapid left ventricular and bi-atrial strain parameters can be reliably applied in a real-world multicenter setting. Due to the results of the regression analysis, a minimum temporal resolution of 30 ms is recommended when assessing atrial deformation.