The posterior left atrial echocardiogram of mitral regurgitation.
The motion of the posterior wall of the normal left atrium has not been studied systematically. The superoposterior portion of the left atrium is adynamic throughout the cardiac cycle, whereas the inferoposterior portion is displaced posteriorly with left atrial filling during ventricular systole. In the present study, the left atrial diameter (LAD), the left atrial systolic motion (LASM) and the left atrial systolic velocity (LASV), were determined in the following groups of patients: 34 normals; eight patients with either coronary artery disease or aortic stenosis; six patients with aortic insufficiency; and three patients with ventricular septal defect. The results obtained were compared to 15 patients with angiographically documented mitral regurgitation. In the last group, the LAD (4.2 +/- .19 cm) and LASV (12.3 +/- 1.23 cm) and LASM (1.2 +/- 0.4 cm) were significantly greater reflecting the early accentuated filling of the left atrium induced by mitral regurgitation. As well, the product of these three parameters was greater in the mitral regurgitation group (63.2 +/- 7.34 cm3/sec) than in the other groups and patients with mild to moderate regurgitation had a significantly lower value than those with moderate to severe regurgitation (45.7 +/- 4.1 vs 78.5 +/- 10.9, P less than 0.02). The left atrial echocardiogram, therefore, is an aid in the diagnosis of mitral regurgitation and provides a rough index of the severity of the lesion.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association