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Echocardiography is the most common routine cardiac imaging method. Nevertheless, only few data about sex-specific reference limits for right atrium (RA) dimensions are available. Transthoracic echocardiographic RA measurements were studied in 9511 participants of the Gutenberg-Health-Study. A reference sample of 1942 cardiovascular healthy subjects without chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was defined. We assessed RA dimensions and sex-specific reference limits were defined using the 95th percentile of the reference sample. Results showed sex-specific differences with larger RA dimensions in men that were attenuated by standardization for body-height. RA-volume was 20.2 ml/m in women (5th-95th: 12.7-30.4 ml/m) and 26.1 ml/m in men (5th-95th: 16.0-40.5 ml/m). Multivariable regressions identified body-mass-index (BMI), coronary artery disease (CAD), chronic heart failure (CHF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) as independent key correlates of RA-volume in both sexes. All-cause mortality after median follow-up-period of 10.7 (9.81/11.6) years was higher in individuals who had RA volume/height outside the 95% reference limit (HR 1.70 [95%CI 1.29-2.23], P = 0.00014)). Based on a large community-based sample, we present sex-specific reference-values for RA dimensions normalized for height. RA-volume varies with BMI, CHF, CAD and AF in both sexes. Individuals with RA-volume outside the reference limit had a 1.7-fold higher mortality than those within reference limits. © 2021. The Author(s).


Karsten Keller, Christoph Sinning, Andreas Schulz, Claus Jünger, Volker H Schmitt, Omar Hahad, Tanja Zeller, Manfred Beutel, Norbert Pfeiffer, Konstantin Strauch, Stefan Blankenberg, Karl J Lackner, Jürgen H Prochaska, Eberhard Schulz, Thomas Münzel, Philipp S Wild. Right atrium size in the general population. Scientific reports. 2021 Nov 18;11(1):22523

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PMID: 34795353

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