Background: We hypothesized that contraction of the LA wall could be documented by speckle tracking and could be applied for assessment of LA function. This study tried to identify the association between LA longitudinal strain (LAS) and strain rate (LASR) measured by speckle tracking with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF). Methods: Fifty-two patients (61 ± 17 years old, 23 men) with sinus rhythm at baseline referred for the evaluation of episodic palpitation were included. Standard four-chamber and two-chamber views were acquired and analyzed off-line. Peak LAS and LASR were carefully identified as the peak negative inflection of speckle tracking waves after P-wave gated by electrocardiography. Results: Ten patients (19%) had PAF. LAS, LASR, age, left ventricular end-diastolic dimension, left ventricular mass, LA volume, and mitral early filling-to-annulus early velocity ratio were different between patients with and without PAF. After multivariate analysis, LASR was significantly independently associated with PAF (OR 8.56, 95% CI 1.14-64.02, P = 0.036). Conclusion: Speckle tracking echocardiography could be used in measurements of LAS and LASR. Decreased negative LASR was independently associated with PAF.
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