Relationship between left ventricular geometry and left atrial size and function in patients with systemic hypertension

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BackgroundArterial hypertension determines distinct adaptive left ventricular geometric responses, which may differently affect left ventricular function and left atrial performance.ObjectivesIn this study, the effect of left ventricular geometry on left atrial size and function, and the relationship between left atrial size and left ventricular mass were assessed in 336 patients with systemic arterial hypertension who had undergone Doppler echocardiography.Methods and resultsPatients were classified into concentric (110 patients with concentric left ventricular geometry defined as relative wall thickness 0.44) and eccentric groups (226 patients with relative wall thickness < 0.44). Comparison to the latter, the former had greater left atrial size, left atrial ejection force, left ventricular mass and lower left ventricular midwall fractional shortening. Left ventricular concentric, rather than eccentric, geometry emerged by multivariate analysis as a factor independently associated with the highest degree of left atrial ejection force. Left atrial size was positively related to left ventricular mass in the whole population (r = 0.65, SEE = 6 ml, P< 0.00001). This relationship was maintained in the subgroups with concentric (r = 0.65, SEE = 6 ml, P< 0.00001) or eccentric geometry (r = 0.59, SEE = 6 ml, P< 0.00001).ConclusionsOur results indicate that the relationship of left ventricular geometry to both left atrial size and ejection force in hypertensive patients is relevant. Concentric left ventricular geometry is associated with greater left atrial size and ejection force than eccentric geometry, suggesting that increased left ventricular stiffness has a greater effect in stimulating left atrial performance than left ventricular end-systolic stress. The degree of left atrial enlargement similarly depends on left ventricular mass in patients with concentric and eccentric geometry.

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