Journal of Echocardiography

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 17–24 | Cite as

Utility of strain imaging in conjunction with heart failure stage classification for heart failure patient management

  • Hidekazu TanakaEmail author
Review Article


The American College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association (ACCF/AHA) classification, based on structural changes and symptoms, classifies stages of heart failure (HF) development as Stages A–D. This HF classification emphasizes the development and progression of the disease and can be used to describe individuals and populations. Since HF is considered a progressive disorder that can be represented as a clinical continuum, individuals at a particular HF stage require specific management with the long-term goal of avoiding HF development and progression. Although early detection of subclinical left ventricular (LV) dysfunction is essential for delaying progression to HF, the assessment of such dysfunction can be challenging. While echocardiography plays a pivotal role in the quantification and early detection of LV structural findings, two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiographic parameters, especially global longitudinal strain (GLS), have recently been reported to be sensitive markers of early subtle abnormalities of LV myocardial performance. They are thus helpful for prediction of outcomes for various cardiac diseases, and superior to conventional echocardiographic indices such as LV ejection fraction, mitral inflow E and mitral e′ annular velocities ratio. Strain imaging, especially GLS-guided management for patients at a particular stage of HF, may therefore have the potential to prevent progression to later HF stages and may offer new insights into the management of HF patients. This article reviews the utility of strain imaging, especially GLS in conjunction with HF stage classification, and future perspectives for HF patient management.


Heart failure stage classification Speckle-tracking strain Global longitudinal strain Echocardiography 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Hidekazu Tanaka declares that he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japanese Society of Echocardiography 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal MedicineKobe University Graduate School of MedicineKobeJapan

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