Background: The maximum left atrial volume index is the most widely used metric for assessing the left atrium in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; however, it may be normal in the early phases of the disease.
Objective: To assess whether pediatric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients with normal maximum left atrial volume index have impaired atrial functions on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Materials and method: A total of 26 pediatric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients and 24 age-matched children, as controls, were enrolled in the study. The left atrial reservoir, conduit and booster strain were calculated from two orthogonal planes and the left atrial volumes were calculated using the biplanar method. The extent of left ventricular late gadolinium enhancement (LGE-%) was calculated using the thresholding method. The left ventricular early diastolic longitudinal strain rate was calculated to assess diastolic dysfunction.
Results: The maximum left atrial volume index of the children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and the controls were not significantly different (P>0.05). Most of the left atrial functional indices were worse in children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (P<0.05), yet no difference was observed between the left atrial booster strains of the two groups (P>0.05). The left atrial conduit strain showed moderate to good negative correlations with left ventricular LGE-% and diastolic dysfunction.
Conclusion: Left atrial conduit and reservoir strains are impaired in pediatric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy patients with normal maximum left atrial volumetric indices. Most left atrial strain parameters are closely linked to left ventricular LGE-% and diastolic dysfunction. Left atrial strain analysis may reveal subtle functional changes in the atrium before the increase in the maximum volume index.
Keywords: Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging; Children; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Left atrium; Mural strain.