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Angiology. 2006 Dec-2007 Jan;57(6):717-23.

Left atrial anatomy and function after conversion from atrial fibrillation in hypertrophic hearts.

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Department of Cardiology, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.


The aim of the study was to evaluate the influence of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy on left atrial (LA) electrical and mechanical function after cardioversion atrial fibrillation (A-Fib) of brief duration. Study group A included 100 patients with a first diagnosis of hypertension who had a moderate LV hypertrophy. The patient population included 64 men and 36 women with a mean age of 55 +/-7 years who were hospitalized because of A-Fib and were cardioverted with external DC shock. Control group B included 100 patients without cardiac hypertrophy cardioverted because of lone A-Fib. Atrial function and size were assessed by Doppler echocardiography and the following parameters were measured: transmitral peak A velocity, atrial filling fraction, atrial ejection force, peak E velocity, deceleration time, and isovolumic relaxation time, LA maximal and minimal volume, and LV cardiac mass index. Baseline echocardiography showed that LA diameters and volumes were enlarged in all patients during A-Fib. After the restoration of sinus rhythm LA diameters and volumes decreased and the reduction was more evident in group B compared to group A. LA function as a continuous variable was negatively related to LV mass index (r = -0.77), LA diameter (r = -0.66 and r = -0.69 for the superoinferior diameter), LA maximal volume (r = -0.61) and LA minimal volume (r = -0.55) (all p<0.01). Atrial ejection force as a continuous variable was positively related to age (r =0.78), peak A wave velocity (r =0.71), systolic blood pressure (r =0.51), and IVRT (r =0.41) (all p<0.01). Hypertrophy influenced the recovery of atrial function after cardioversion of A-Fib. Atrial function was reduced in patients with LV hypertrophy even after A-Fib of brief duration.

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