Pheochromocytomas (PHEO) are tumours with the ability to produce, metabolize and secrete catecholamines. Catecholamines overproduction leads to the decrease of longitudinal function of the left ventricle (LV) measured by speckle-tracking echocardiography. Patients with PHEO have a lower magnitude of global longitudinal strain (GLS) than patients with essential hypertension. GLS normalization is expected after resolution of catecholamine overproduction.
Twenty-four patients (14 females and 10 males) with a recent diagnosis of PHEO have been examined before and 1 year after adrenalectomy. An echocardiographic examination including speckle-tracking analysis with the evaluation of GLS and regional longitudinal strain (LS) in defined groups of LV segments (basal, mid-ventricular and apical) was performed.
One year after adrenalectomy, the magnitude of GLS increased (−14.3 ± 1.8 to −17.7 ± 1.6%; P < 0.001). When evaluating the regional LS, the most significant increase in the differences was evident in the apical segment compared to mid-ventricular and basal segments of LV (−5.4 ± 5.0 vs −1.9 ± 2.7 vs −1.6 ± 3.8; P < 0.01).
In patients with PHEO, adrenalectomy leads to an improvement of subclinical LV dysfunction represented by the increasing magnitude of GLS, which is the most noticeable in apical segments of LV.