Myocardial elastography (ME), a radio frequency (RF)-based speckle tracking technique with onedimensional (1-D) cross correlation and novel recorrelation methods in a 2-D search was proposed to estimate and fully image 2-D transmural deformation field and to detect abnormal cardiac function. A theoretical framework was first developed in order to evaluate the performance of 2-D myocardial elastography based on a previously developed 3D finite-element model of the canine left ventricle. A normal (control) and an ischemic (left-circumflex, LCx) model, which more completely represented myocardial deformation than a kinematic model, were considered. A 2-D convolutional image formation model was first used to generate RF signals for quality assessment of ME in the normal and ischemic cases. A 3-D image formation model was further developed to investigate the effect of the out-of-plane motion on the 2-D, in-plane motion estimation. Both orthogonal, in-plane displacement components (i.e., lateral and axial) between consecutive RF frames were iteratively estimated. All the estimated incremental 2-D displacements from enddiastole (ED) to end-systole (ES) were then accumulated to acquire the cumulative 2-D displacements, which were further used to calculate the cumulative 2-D systolic finite strains. Furthermore, the cumulative systolic radial and circumferential strains, which were angle- and frame-rate independent, were obtained from the 2-D finite-strain components and imaged in full view to detect the ischemic region. We also explored the theoretical understanding of the limitations of our technique for the accurate depiction of disease and validated it in vivo against tagged magnetic resonance imaging (tMRI) in the case of a normal human myocardium in a 2-D short-axis (SA) echocardiographic view. The theoretical framework succeeded in demonstrating that the 2-D myocardial elastography technique was a reliable tool for the complete estimation and depiction of the in-plane myocardial deformation field as well as for accurate identification of pathological mechanical function using established finite-element, left-ventricular canine models. In a preliminary study, the 2-D myocardial elastography was shown capable of imaging myocardial deformation comparable to equivalent tMRI estimates in a clinical setting. © 2007 IEEE.