Strain is an important imaging parameter to determine myocardial deformation. This study sought to 1) assess changes in left ventricular strain and ejection fraction (LVEF) from acute to chronic ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and 2) analyze strain as a predictor of late gadolinium enhancement (LGE). 32 patients with STEMI and 18 controls prospectively underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. Patients were scanned 8 [Formula: see text] 5 days and six months after infarction (± 1.4 months). Feature tracking was performed and LVEF was calculated. LGE was determined visually and quantitatively on short-axis images and myocardial segments were grouped according to the LGE pattern (negative, non-transmural and transmural). Global strain was impaired in patients compared to controls, but improved within six months after STEMI (longitudinal strain from -14 ± 4 to -16 ± 4%, p < 0.001; radial strain from 38 ± 11 to 42 ± 13%, p = 0.006; circumferential strain from -15 ± 4 to -16 ± 4%, p = 0.023). Patients with microvascular obstruction showed especially attenuated strain results. Regional strain persisted impaired in LGE-positive segments. Circumferential strain could best distinguish between LGE-negative and -positive segments (AUC 0.73- 0.77). Strain improves within six months after STEMI, but remains impaired in LGE-positive segments. Strain may serve as an imaging biomarker to analyze myocardial viability. Especially circumferential strain could predict LGE.
© 2022. The Author(s).