Left atrial volume is not an index of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in patients with sickle cell anaemia

Nadjib Hammoudi, Magali Charbonnier, Pierre Levy, Morad Djebbar, Katia Stankovic Stojanovic, Stéphane Ederhy, Robert Girot, Ariel Cohen, Richard Isnard, François Lionnet
Archives of Cardiovascular Diseases 2015, 108 (3): 156-62

BACKGROUND: Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) is common in sickle cell anaemia (SCA). Left atrial (LA) size is widely used as an index of LVDD; however, LA enlargement in SCA might also be due to chronic volume overload.

AIM: To investigate whether LA size can be used to diagnose LVDD in SCA.

METHODS: One hundred and twenty-seven adults with stable SCA underwent echocardiographic assessment. LA volume was measured by the area-length method and indexed to body surface area (LAVi). Left ventricular (LV) filling pressures were assessed using the ratio of early peak diastolic velocities of mitral inflow and septal annular mitral plane (E/e'). Using mitral inflow profile and E/e', LV diastolic function was classified as normal or abnormal. LAVi>28mL/m(2) was used as the threshold to define LA enlargement.

RESULTS: The mean age was 28.6±8.5years; there were 83 women. Mean LAVi was 48.3±11.1mL/m(2) and 124 (98%) patients had LA dilatation. In multivariable analysis, age, haemoglobin concentration and LV end-diastolic volume index were independent determinants of LAVi (R(2)=0.51; P<0.0001). E/e' was not linked to LAVi (P=0.43). Twenty patients had LVDD; when compared with patients without LVDD, they had a similar LAVi (52.2±14.7 and 47.5±10.2mL/m(2), respectively; P=0.29). Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis showed that LAVi could not be used to diagnose LVDD (area under curve=0.58; P=0.36).

CONCLUSION: LA enlargement is common in SCA but appears not to be linked to LVDD. LAVi in this population is related to age, haemoglobin concentration and LV morphology.

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