An Improved Method for Echographic Detection of Left Atrial Enlargement
Echographic dimensions of the aortic root and left atrium were compared in 170 patients in order to assess dilation of the left atrium with reference to the relatively nondistensible fibrous aortic root. In 50 patients without cause for left atrial or aortic enlargement, the ratio of left atrial/aortic root dimension was 0.87-1.11. In 80 patients with known cause for left atrial enlargement, the left atrial/aortic root ratio was ≥ 1.17. In 40 patients with isolated aortic valve disease, dilation of both the aortic root and the left atrium resulted in a left atrial/aortic root dimension ratio < 1.17 in some patients. Despite this consideration, the comparison of left atrial and aortic root dimension appears to be as specific as, and more sensitive than, previously proposed methods for the evaluation of left atrial enlargement.
- Received February 19, 1973.
- Accepted March 13, 1974.
- © 1974 American Heart Association, Inc.