Assessment of left ventricular systolic function has a central role in the evaluation of cardiac disease. Accurate assessment is essential to guide management and prognosis. Numerous echocardiographic techniques are used in the assessment, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. This review is based on a literature search of the PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and Scopus databases from inception through December 30, 2017, using the terms strain echocardiography, tissue Doppler strain, and speckle-tracking echocardiography. We provide the internist with a contemporary overview of current echocardiographic techniques used in the evaluation of left ventricular systolic function. In particular, we focus on the role of speckle-tracking echocardiography, including its utility in the detection of subclinical left ventricular dysfunction and the associated prognostic implications.
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