Improved identification of left atrial enlargement in patients with obesity

Yaar Aga, Yalin Acardag, Jie Fen Chin, Daan Kroon, Sanne Marjolein Snelder, Lotte De Groot-De Laat, Ulas Biter, Felix Zijlstra, Jasper Brugts, Bas van Dalen*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Accurate standardization of left atrium volume (LAV) in patients with obesity is challenging. The aim of this study was to investigate and to examine the relation between LAV indexed to height2 and left atrial function in patients with moderate to severe obesity. Echocardiograms of patients with moderate to severe obesity (body mass index (BMI) ≥ 35 kg/m2) without known cardiac disease were analyzed. LAV was indexed to body surface area (BSA) and height2, and patients were divided into those with or without left atrial enlargement (LAE) based on normalization using either BSA (LAEbsa) or height2 (LAEh2). Using speckle tracking echocardiography, LA reservoir strain (LASr), LA conduit strain (LAScd), and LA contractile strain (LASct) were assessed as a measure of LA function. LA dysfunction was defined as LASct < 14%. A total of 142 patients were included in the analysis of whom 54.2% had LAEh2 and 18.3% LAEBSA. The LAEh2 group had significantly lower LASct (12.2% ± 3.2% vs. 13.6% ± 4.5%, p = 0.019) as compared to the patients without LAEh2. Significantly more patients with LA dysfunction would be correctly identified by LAEh2 than by LAEBSA (41.5% vs. 15.0%, p < 0.001). In patients with moderate to severe obesity, the use of LAEh2 identified significantly more patients with decreased LA function. LAVh2 should be preferred over LAVBSA in patients with moderate to severe obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-72
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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