Heart failure from adverse ventricular remodeling follows myocardial infarction, but the contribution of periinfarct and remote myocardium to the development of cardiomyopathy remains poorly defined. 2D strain echocardiography (2DSE) is a novel and sensitive tool to measure regional myocardial mechanics. The aim is to quantify radial strain in infarcted (I), periinfarct (PI) and remote (R) myocardial regions acutely and chronically following anterior infarction in rats.
The left anterior coronary artery of male Sprague-Dawley rats (270–370 g) were occluded for 20–30 minutes and 2DSE was performed in the acute setting (n = 10; baseline and 60 minutes post-reperfusion) and in the chronic setting (n = 14; baseline, 1, 3 and 6 weeks). Using software, radial strain was measured in the mid-ventricle in short axis view. The ventricle was divided into 3 regions: I (anteroseptum, anterior and anterolateral), PI – (inferoseptum and inferolateral) and R – (inferior). Infarct size was measured using triphenyl tetrazolium chloride in the acute group.
Following infarct, adverse remodeling occurred with progressive increase in left ventricular size, mass and reduced fractional shortening within 6 weeks. Radial strain decreased not only in the infarct but also in the periinfarct and remote regions acutely and chronically (I, PI, R, change vs. baseline, 60 minutes -32.7 ± 8.7, -17.4 ± 9.4, -13.5 ± 11.6%; 6 weeks -24.4 ± 8.2, -17.7 ± 8.3, -15.2 ± 8.4% respectively, all p < 0.05). Reduced radial strain in periinfarct and remote regions occurred despite minimal or absent necrosis (area of necrosis I, PI, R: 48.8 ± 23, 5.1 ± 6.6, 0 ± 0%, p < 0.001 vs. I).
Following left anterior coronary occlusion, radial strain decreased at 60 minutes and up to 6 weeks in the periinfarct and remote regions, similar to the reduction in the infarct region. This demonstrates early and chronic myopathic process in periinfarct and remote regions following myocardial infarction that may be an under recognized but important contributor to adverse left ventricular remodeling and progression to ischemic cardiomyopathy.