New echocardiographic techniques for evaluation of left atrial mechanics

Aurora Affiliations

Aurora Cardiovascular Services, Aurora Sinai/Aurora St Luke’s Medical Centers, Center for Integrative Research on Cardiovascular Aging (CIRCA), Aurora University of Wisconsin Medical Group


Until recently the left atrium had been subordinate to the left ventricle, but cardiologists now recognize that left atrial (LA) function is indispensable to normal circulatory performance. Transthoracic two-dimensional (2D) and Doppler echocardiography can elucidate parameters of LA function non-invasively. Yet, with the advent of 2D speckle-tracking echocardiography, we are able to detect early LA dysfunction even before structural changes occur. This is pivotal in some common disease states, such as atrial fibrillation, hypertension, and heart failure, in which LA deformation parameters can influence clinical management. However, a unique standardized technique to investigate LA deformation needs to be validated.

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