Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate whether left atrial (LA) appendage function, as indicated by LA appendage blood flow velocities and its ejection fraction, could identify elevated left ventricular filling pressure in patients with chronic congestive heart failure. Methods: Using transesophageal echocardiography, adequate pulsed Doppler LA appendage active emptying and filling velocities could be recorded in 25 consecutive patients (16 men and 9 women, aged 57±10 years) with chronic congestive heart failure (symptom duration≥1 year). LA appendage ejection fraction calculated as (LA appendage maximal area)-(LA appendage minimal area)/(LA appendage maximal area) x 100 was also determined in these patients. Left ventricular end- diastolic pressure was recorded during cardiac catheterization performed within 24 h of echocardiographic study. Results: Left ventricular end- diastolic pressure was 2 to 47 mm Hg. There were close negative correlations of LA appendage emptying velocity (r=-0.508; P<0.01), filling velocity (r=- 0.429; P<0.05) and LA appendage ejection fraction (r=-0.523; P<0.005) with left ventricular end-diastolic pressure. LA appendage active emptying velocity <30 cm/s predicted left ventricular end-diastolic pressure >25 mm Hg with a sensitivity of 72.7%, a specificity of 92.9% and a positive and negative predictive value of 88.9 and 81.3%. Conclusions: The findings suggest that measurement of LA appendage blood flow velocities and contractile function by transesophageal echocardiography can be used to predict elevated left ventricular filling pressure in patients with congestive heart failure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine