Atrial-ventricular function in rheumatic mitral regurgitation using strain imaging


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


Background: Chronic mitral regurgitation (MR) historically has been shown to primarily affect left ventricular (LV) function. The impact of increased left atrial (LA) volume in MR on morbidity and mortality has been highlighted recently, yet the LA does not feature as prominently in the current guidelines as the LV. Thus, we aimed to study LA and LV function in chronic rheumatic MR using traditional volumetric parameters and strain imaging.

Methods: Seventy-seven patients with isolated moderate or severe chronic rheumatic MR and 40 controls underwent echocardiographic examination. LV and LA function were assessed with conventional echocardiography and 2D strain imaging.

Results: LA stiffness index was greater in chronic rheumatic MR than controls (0.95 ± 1.89 vs 0.16 ± 0.13,

Conclusions: In chronic rheumatic MR, there is LA dysfunction in the reservoir, conduit, and contractile phases. In this study, LA dysfunction with or without LV dysfunction was the predominant finding, and thus, LA dysfunction may be an earlier marker of decompensation in chronic rheumatic MR.

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