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Left atrium 

Left atrium
Chapter:
Left atrium
Author(s):

Monica Rosca

, Sergio Mondillo

, and Kim O’Connor

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198726012.003.0022
Page of

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date: 17 July 2019

The left atrium (LA) in a close interdependence with the left ventricle plays an essential role in the overall cardiovascular performance. The impact of LA remodelling on prognosis and risk stratification has gathered increasing evidence. With advances in imaging technology, the assessment of LA size and function become more accessible and precise. LA volume provides the most accurate estimate of LA size and superior prognostic information. Accounting for complex geometry and motion, three-dimensional echocardiography emerges as the preferred technique for the assessment of dynamic changes in LA volume. The assessment of LA function, providing important pathophysiological information, can add consistency in establishing the clinical role of LA remodelling. It is essential to fully understand the strengths and weaknesses of conventional and new echocardiographic techniques used to evaluate LA function. Atrial strain and strain rate parameters are less load dependent and have higher sensitivity in assessing LA function than conventional parameters. However, the lack of standardization and incomplete data regarding their prognostic value limits their routine use in current clinical practice.

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