Aims: The aim of this article is to assess the left atrial (LA) reservoir function in patients with severe aortic stenosis (AS) and to evaluate its impact on the recurrence of major adverse cardiac events (MACEs).
Methods and results: About 128 patients (mean age 79 ± 9 years) with severe AS were included in the study. Global peak LA strain (PLAS) measured by two-dimensional speckle-tracking echocardiography (STE) during left ventricular (LV) systole represented the LA reservoir function. Overall death, hospitalization for cardiac cause, and worsening heart failure were defined as MACEs. With respect to the values observed in a control group of 20 healthy patients, PLAS resulted significantly reduced in AS. According to the multivariate linear regression analysis, LV global longitudinal strain, mitral E/e' ratio, and systolic pulmonary arterial pressure (sPAP) were the best correlates to PLAS. During follow-up, the predefined MACEs occurred in 39 patients. According to the multivariate Cox regression analysis, a PLAS <21% was a significant predictor of MACEs [hazard ratio (HR) 2.88, P = 0.04], as was coronary artery disease (HR 2.68, P = 0.004) and the New York Heart Association functional class (HR 2.08, P = 0.03).
Conclusion: In patients with severe AS, a global PLAS <21% is an independent predictor of prognosis. Given the combined influence of LV diastolic and systolic function and of LA performance on sPAP, the decline of PLAS might be considered a marker of global myocardial impairment in AS. Further studies are needed to confirm the critical role of LA relaxation in prognosis and to validate its relevance in routine clinical practice.
Keywords: Aortic stenosis; Diastolic function; Left atrium; Peak left atrial strain; Systolic function.
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