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Clin Res Cardiol. 2011 Feb;100(2):97-105. doi: 10.1007/s00392-010-0222-y. Epub 2010 Sep 7.

Assessment of left atrial volume: a focus on echocardiographic methods and clinical implications.

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City Hospital, University of Birmingham Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, Birmingham, B18 7QH, UK.


Left atrial enlargement is an important predictor of cardiovascular events such as atrial fibrillation, stroke, heart failure and mortality. A number of methods of left atrial size assessment by echocardiography have been reported, from the simple antero-posterior diameter in the parasternal long axis view to the more complex ellipsoid, area-length and Simpson's method of estimating left atrial volume. These different methods of left atrial size assessment, their clinical implications and some common pitfalls are discussed in this review.

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