Real three-dimensional assessment of left atrial and left atrial appendage volumes by 64-slice spiral computed tomography in individuals with or without cardiovascular disease

Int J Cardiol. 2010 Apr 15;140(2):189-96. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2008.11.055. Epub 2008 Dec 23.


Context: Left atrial (LA) volume is a prognosis factor of cardiovascular morbidity in patients with cardiovascular disease (CD). Recent developments of multislice computed tomography (MSCT) have made non invasive coronary angiography reliable for selected patients and new software facilitates truly volume measurements without geometrical assumptions.

Objective: To define, by using MSCT, LA and left atrial appendage (LAA) volumes in patients with or without CD.

Methods and results: In the population of patients referred to our laboratory for a conventional MSCT coronary angiography, 40 individuals without CD (Normal group) and 80 patients with CD (CD group) were prospectively selected. The CD group was constituted from 4 subgroups of patients with either coronary artery disease (n=20), idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (n=20), left ventricular hypertrophy (n=20) or severe mitral regurgitation (MR group, n=20). LAA and LA volumes were measured on a commercially available workstation. LA maximal and minimal volumes were lower in Normal group than in CD group, as LA ejection fraction (54+/-10 versus 67+/-20 ml/m(2), p<0.0001; 31+/-8 versus 46+/-20 ml/m(2), p<0.0001; 43+/-8% versus 33+/- 14%, p<0.001). LAA volume was larger in MR group than in Normal group (15+/-7 ml versus 9+/-3 ml, p<0.0001).

Conclusion: This MSCT study provides normal values of LA and LAA volumes for patients who underwent MSCT coronary angiography and suggests that MSCT is helpful to assess the changes of LA volumes related to various CD.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atrial Appendage / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cardiac Volume
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Atria / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / diagnostic imaging
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve Insufficiency / diagnostic imaging
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tomography, Spiral Computed / methods*