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Assessment of left atrial function 

Assessment of left atrial function
Chapter:
Assessment of left atrial function
Author(s):

Río Aguilar-Torres

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199599639.003.0010
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date: 22 August 2019

The left atrium (LA) plays an important role in cardiovascular performance, not only as a mechanical contributor, elastic reservoir, and a primer for left ventricular filling, but also as a participant in the regulation of intravascular volume through the production of atrial natriuretic peptide.

Although LA diameter in the parasternal long-axis view has been routinely employed, LA volume is a more robust marker for predicting events than LA areas or diameters. The assessment of LA performance based on two-dimensional volumetrics, Doppler evaluation of mitral, pulmonary vein flow, and annular tissue Doppler, as well as deformation imaging techniques, may provide incremental information for prognostic purposes and for the evaluation of severity and duration of conditions associated with LA overload.

The aims of this chapter are to explain the basics of LA function, and to describe the role of Doppler echocardiography techniques, and how to implement them, for the non-invasive evaluation of LA in clinical practice.

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