We have recently developed an automated segmental motion analysis (A-SMA) s
ystem, based on an automatic "blood-tissue interface" detection technique,
to provide real-time and on-fine objective echocardiographic segmental waft
motion analysis. To assess the feasibility of A-SMA in detecting regional
left ventricular (LV) wall motion abnormalities, we performed 2-dimensional
echocardiography with A-SMA in 13 healthy subjects, 22 patients with prior
myocardial infarction (MI), and 9 with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Midpa
pillary parasternal short-axis and apical 2- and 4-chamber views were obtai
ned to clearly trace the blood-tissue interface. The LV cavity was then div
ided into 6 wedge-shaped segments by A-SMA. The area of each segment was ca
lculated automatically throughout a cardiac cycle, and the area changes of
each segment were displayed as bar graphs or time-area curves. The systolic
fractional area change (FAC), peak ejection rate (PER), and filling rate (
PFR) were also calculated with the use of A-SMA. In the control group, a un
iform FAC was observed in real time among 6 segments in the short-axi view
(60% +/- 10% to 78% +/- 9%), or among 5 segments in either the 2-chamber (5
9% +/- 12% to 75% +/- 16%) or 4-chamber view (58% +/- 13% to 72% +/- 12%).
The variations of FAC, PER, and PFR were obviously decreased in infarct-rel
ated regions in the MI group and were globally decreased in the DCM group.
We conclude that A-SMA is an objective and time-saving method for assessing
regional wall motion abnormalities in real time. This method is a reliable
new tool that provides on-line quantification of regional wall motion.