Objectives This study sought to determine the frequency and magnitude of impaired systolic deformation in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). Background Although diastolic dysfunction is widely considered a key pathophysiologic mediator of HFpEF, the prevalence of concomitant systolic dysfunction has not been clearly defined. Methods We assessed myocardial systolic and diastolic function in 219 HFpEF patients from a contemporary HFpEF clinical trial. Myocardial deformation was assessed using a vendor-independent 2-dimensional speckle-tracking software. The frequency and severity of impaired deformation was assessed in HFpEF, and compared to 50 normal controls free of cardiovascular disease and to 44 age- and sex-matched hypertensive patients with diastolic dysfunction (hypertensive heart disease) but no HF. Among HFpEF patients, clinical, echocardiographic, and biomarker correlates of left ventricular strain were determined. Results The HFpEF patients had preserved left ventricular ejection fraction and evidence of diastolic dysfunction. Compared to both normal controls and hypertensive heart disease patients, the HFpEF patients demonstrated significantly lower longitudinal strain (LS) (-20.0 ± 2.1 and -17.07 ± 2.04 vs. -14.6 ± 3.3, respectively, p < 0.0001 for both) and circumferential strain (CS) (-27.1 ± 3.1 and -30.1 ± 3.5 vs. -22.9 ± 5.9, respectively; p < 0.0001 for both). In HFpEF, both LS and CS were related to LVEF (LS, R = -0.46; p < 0.0001; CS, R = -0.51; p < 0.0001) but not to standard echocardiographic measures of diastolic function (E' or E/E'). Lower LS was modestly associated with higher NT-proBNP, even after adjustment for 10 baseline covariates including LVEF, measures of diastolic function, and LV filling pressure (multivariable adjusted p = 0.001). Conclusions Strain imaging detects impaired systolic function despite preserved global LVEF in HFpEF that may contribute to the pathophysiology of the HFpEF syndrome. (LCZ696 Compared to Valsartan in Patients With Chronic Heart Failure and Preserved Left-ventricular Ejection Fraction; NCT00887588) © 2014 by the American College of Cardiology Foundation.