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Impact of Left Ventricular Diastolic Function on Left Atrial Mechanics in Systolic Heart Failure

      The relation between left atrial (LA) mechanics and left ventricular (LV) diastolic function and adverse cardiovascular events are not well established in chronic systolic heart failure (HF). In 108 patients, we performed comprehensive echocardiography with an assessment of LA global longitudinal strain (LAε) by Velocity Vector Imaging. We also performed complete diastolic examinations including mitral inflow, pulmonary vein flow, and tissue Doppler. Death, cardiac transplantation, and HF hospitalization were tracked for 5 years. In our study cohort (age 57 ± 15 years, LV ejection fraction 25 ± 6%), mean global LA negative (εnegative), positive (εpositive), and total ε (εtotal) were −6.8 ± 4.4%, 7.7 ± 5.7%, and 14.5 ± 8.2%, respectively. All LAε indexes correlated with individual indexes of LV diastolic dysfunction, including mitral flow early (E) to late diastolic velocity ratio (p <0.05 for all), mitral deceleration time (p <0.01 for all), E to early diastolic velocity of the septal mitral annulus (e′) ratio (p <0.05 for all), pulmonary vein flow systolic to diastolic velocity ratio (p <0.001 for all), and maximal LA volume index (p <0.01 for all). All LAε indexes increased across diastolic stage (p <0.001 for all). In multivariate logistic regression analysis, LAεnegative and LAεtotal were associated with the presence of LV diastolic dysfunction grade III even after adjustment for E/e′ septal and LA volume index. In Cox proportional hazards analysis, lower magnitude LAεnegative predicted long-term adverse clinical events. In conclusion, more impaired LA mechanics are associated with more severe diastolic dysfunction and predict long-term adverse events in patients with chronic systolic HF.
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