Left atrial volume: a powerful predictor of survival after acute myocardial infarction.

Research paper by Jacob E JE Moller, Graham S GS Hillis, Jae K JK Oh, James B JB Seward, Guy S GS Reeder, R Scott RS Wright, Seung W SW Park, Kent R KR Bailey, Patricia A PA Pellikka

Indexed on: 16 Apr '03Published on: 16 Apr '03Published in: Circulation


After acute myocardial infarction (AMI), diastolic function assessed by Doppler echocardiography provides important prognostic information that is incremental to systolic function. However, Doppler variables are affected by multiple factors and may change rapidly. In contrast, left atrial (LA) volume is less influenced by acute changes and reflects subacute or chronic diastolic function. This may be of importance when one assesses risk in patients with AMI.Three hundred fourteen patients with AMI who had a transthoracic echocardiogram with assessment of left ventricular (LV) systolic and diastolic function and measurement of LA volume during admission were identified. The LA volume was corrected for body surface area, and the population was divided according to LA volume index of 32 mL/m2 (2 SDs above normal). LA volume index was >32 mL/m2 in 142 (45%). The primary study end point was all-cause mortality. During follow-up of 15 (range 0 to 33) months, 46 patients (15%) died. LA volume index was a powerful predictor of mortality and remained an independent predictor (hazard ratio 1.05 per 1-mL/m2 change, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.06, P<0.001) after adjustment for clinical factors, LV systolic function, and Doppler-derived parameters of diastolic function.Increased LA volume index is a powerful predictor of mortality after AMI and provides prognostic information incremental to clinical data and conventional measures of LV systolic and diastolic function.