Head-to-head comparison of cardiovascular MR feature tracking cine versus acquisition-based deformation strain imaging using myocardial tagging and strain encoding

Sören J. Backhaus, Georg Metschies, Victoria Zieschang, Jennifer Erley, Seyedeh Mahsa Zamani, Johannes T. Kowallick, Tomas Lapinskas, Burkert Pieske, Joachim Lotz, Shelby Kutty, Gerd Hasenfuß, Sebastian Kelle, Andreas Schuster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: Myocardial feature-tracking (FT) deformation imaging is superior for risk stratification compared with volumetric approaches. Because there is no clear recommendation regarding FT postprocessing, we compared different FT-strain analyses with reference standard techniques, including tagging and strain-encoded (SENC) MRI. Methods: Feature-tracking software from four different vendors (TomTec, Medis, Circle [CVI], and Neosoft), tagging (Segment), and fastSENC (MyoStrain) were used to determine left ventricular global circumferential strains (GCS) and longitudinal strains (GLS) in 12 healthy volunteers and 12 patients with heart failure. Variability and agreements were assessed using intraclass correlation coefficients for absolute agreement (ICCa) and consistency (ICCc) as well as Pearson correlation coefficients. Results: For FT-GCS, consistency was excellent comparing different FT vendors (ICCc = 0.84-0.97, r = 0.86-0.95) and in comparison to fast SENC (ICCc = 0.78-0.89, r = 0.73-0.81). FT-GCS consistency was excellent compared with tagging (ICCc = 0.79-0.85, r = 0.74-0.77) except for TomTec (ICCc = 0.68, r = 0.72). Absolute FT-GCS agreements among FT vendors were highest for CVI and Medis (ICCa = 0.96) and lowest for TomTec and Neosoft (ICCa = 0.32). Similarly, absolute FT-GCS agreements were excellent for CVI and Medis compared with both tagging and fast SENC (ICCa = 0.84-0.88), good to excellent for Neosoft (ICCa = 0.77 and 0.64), and lowest for TomTec (ICCa = 0.41 and 0.47). For FT-GLS, consistency was excellent (ICCc ≥ 0.86, r ≥ 0.76). Absolute agreements among FT vendors were excellent (ICCa = 0.91-0.93) or good to excellent for TomTec (ICCa = 0.69-0.85). Absolute agreements (ICCa) were good (CVI 0.70, Medis 0.60) and fair (TomTec 0.41, Neosoft 0.59) compared with tagging, but excellent compared with fast SENC (ICCa = 0.77-0.90). Conclusion: Although absolute agreements differ depending on deformation assessment approaches, consistency and correlation are consistently high regardless of the method chosen, thus indicating reliable strain assessment. Further standardisation and introduction of uniform references is warranted for routine clinical implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)357-368
Number of pages12
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


  • agreement
  • deformation imaging
  • fSENC
  • feature tracking
  • heart failure
  • tagging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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