Left atrial volume is an independent predictor of all-cause mortality in chronic hemodialysis patients

Intern Med. 2012;51(12):1479-85. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.51.7284. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


Objective: An enlarged left atrium (LA) has recently been identified as a risk factor for adverse cardiovascular outcomes in various pathologic conditions. However, few studies have evaluated its prognostic value in hemodialysis (HD) patients.

Methods: We conducted an observational study to investigate whether an enlarged LA predicted all-cause mortality in 174 HD patients. Patients were stratified into two groups based on the LA volume index (LAVI) value of 32 mL/m<sup>2</sup>.

Results: An increased left atrial volume index (LAVI >32 mL/m(2)) was present in 28 (16.1%) of the HD patients. During the follow-up period (50.1 ± 22.4 months), 77 patients (44.3%) died. A Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that the 7-year survival rate was significantly lower in the group whose LAVI was >32 mL/m(2) than in the group whose LAVI was ≤ 32 mL/m(2) (p=0.0033). Multivariate analyses adjusted for echocardiographic parameters and clinical and laboratory data showed that increased LAVI was an independent predictor of all-cause mortality (hazard ratio 1.030, 95% confidence interval 1.004-1.056, p=0.0260). Moreover, increased LAVI had a higher predictive value for all-cause mortality (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve=0.612, p=0.0059) among the measured echocardiographic parameters.

Conclusion: The results of the present study suggested that measurement of LAVI may be helpful in the risk stratification of HD patients and in providing therapeutic direction for their management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiomegaly / diagnostic imaging
  • Cardiomegaly / pathology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / complications
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality
  • Echocardiography
  • Female
  • Heart Atria / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Atria / pathology
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Renal Dialysis / mortality*
  • Risk Factors