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The presence of atrial cardiomyopathy in β-thalassemia major (β-TM) patients complicates their clinical condition. The diagnosis is challenging even with cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging. Novel echocardiographic techniques are applied to increase the diagnostic yield. Fifty-six β-TM patients and thirty age and sex-matched controls were included in the present cross-sectional study. Heart rate, PR duration, and P axis were measured by electrocardiography, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) and end-diastolic diameter (LVEDD), ratio between early mitral inflow velocity and mitral annular early diastolic velocity (E/e'), left atrial volume index (LAVI), left atrial strain at reservoir (LASr), conduit (LAScd) and contraction (LASct) phases respectively, left ventricular global longitudinal strain (GLS) by echocardiography, and T2* calculation in patient group by CMR. PR duration, LVEF, LAVI, E/e', GLS, and left atrial deformation parameters differed between patients and controls (p <0.05). In patient group, left atrial strain was correlated with PR duration, LAVI, E/e', GLS, and T2* (p <0.05). T2* was correlated only with left atrial deformation indices (p <0.05). Patients with a history of atrial fibrillation were older, had lower heart rate, prolonged PR, increased E/e' and LAVI, and impaired left atrial strain (p <0.05). LASct differed relative to the presence of atrial fibrillation and myocardial iron overload. Atrial strain could be of clinical use in the early detection of atrial cardiomyopathy. An impaired LASct could identify β-TM patients with undetected episodes of atrial fibrillation. Finally, left atrial strain may be helpful in myocardial iron load estimation.© 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


Dimitrios Patsourakos, Constantina Aggeli, Konstantinos A Gatzoulis, Sophia Delicou, Yannis Dimitroglou, Katerina Xydaki, Christina Fragodimitri, Aristeidis Androulakis, Konstantinos Tsioufis. Left atrial deformation indices in β-thalassemia major patients. Annals of hematology. 2022 Apr 23

PMID: 35460387

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