Left atrial volume and strain parameters using echocardiography in a black population


Aurora Cardiovascular Services, Aurora Sinai/Aurora St. Luke's Medical Centers


AIMS: Left atrial (LA) volume is an important predictor of morbidity and mortality in cardiovascular disease. Left atrial strain is a feasible technique for assessing LA function. The EchoNoRMAL study recently highlighted the possibility that ethnic-based differences may exist in LA size. There is a paucity of data regarding LA parameters in an African population. We sought to establish normative values for LA volumetric and strain parameters in a black population.

METHODS AND RESULTS: This cross-sectional study comprised 120 individuals between 18 and 70 years of age. Left atrial volumes were measured by biplane Simpson's method, and strain parameters were measured using Philips QLAB 9 (Amsterdam, The Netherlands) speckle-tracking software. The mean age was 38.7 ± 12.8 years (50% male). Maximum LA volume indexed (LAVi), pre-atrial LAVi, and minimum LAVi were 19.7 ± 5.9, 12.2 ± 4.4, and 7.7 ± 3.2 mL/m2, respectively. Females had a higher LAVi compared with males (20.9 ± 6.3 vs. 18.6 ± 5.3 mL/m2, P = 0.04). Peak global longitudinal strain in the reservoir phase (ɛR) was 39.0 ± 8.3%, and the peak LA strain in the contractile phase (ɛCT) was -2.7 ± 2.5%. No gender differences were noted in ɛR. Body surface area, age, and weight were the main determinants of ɛR on multivariate linear regression analysis.

CONCLUSION: The data reported in this study establish the normal reference values for phasic LA volumes and strain in a normal black population and serve as a platform for future studies.

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