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In recent years, new interest is growing in the left atrium (LA). LA functional analysis and measurement have an essential role in cardiac function evaluation. Left atrial size and function are key elements during the noninvasive analysis of diastolic function in several heart diseases. The LA represents a "neuroendocrine organ" with high sensitivity to the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems. New insights highlight the importance of left atrial structural, contractile, and/or electrophysiological changes, introducing the concept of "atrial cardiomyopathy", which is closely linked to underlying heart disease, arrhythmias, and conditions such as aging. The diagnostic algorithm for atrial cardiomyopathy should follow a stepwise approach, combining risk factors, clinical characteristics, and imaging. Constant advances in imaging techniques offer superb opportunities for a comprehensive evaluation of LA function, underlying specific mechanisms, and patterns of progression. In this literature review, we aim to suggest a practical, stepwise algorithm with integrative multimodality imaging and a clinical approach for LA geometry and functional analysis. This integrates diastolic flow analysis with LA remodelling by the application of traditional and new diagnostic imaging techniques in several clinical settings such as heart failure (HF), atrial fibrillation (AF), coronary artery disease (CAD), and mitral regurgitation (MR).


Matteo Beltrami, Lorenzo-Lupo Dei, Massimo Milli. The Role of the Left Atrium: From Multimodality Imaging to Clinical Practice: A Review. Life (Basel, Switzerland). 2022 Aug 04;12(8)

PMID: 36013370

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