The incremental prognostic value of left atrial (LA) dysfunction, emerging in various clinical contexts, remains poorly explored in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM).
To assess LA strain correlation with outcome in HCM.
A cohort of all 307 consecutive patients presenting with HCM between 2007 and 2017 (54±17 years; 34% women), with comprehensive echocardiography at diagnosis and LA peak longitudinal strain (PALS) and LA peak contraction strain (PACS) measurement, was enrolled and occurrence of HCM related cardiac events analysed.
Clinically, atrial fibrillation (AF) was present in 13%, New York Heart Association functional class II-III in 54%, and B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP) concentration was 199±278pg/mL. By echocardiography, left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction (EF) was 67±10%, LV thickness 21±5mm and European Society of Cardiology HCM risk score 3±3%, with 109 patients (36%) presenting obstructive HCM (LV outflow gradient 21±32mmHg). LA diameter was 41±8mm [with 109 (36%) presenting LA diameter ≥40mm], LA volume index 50±26mL/m, PALS 24±13%, PACS 11±7% and LA peak systolic strain rate (LASRs) 1.7±0.6 s. In addition to AF, age, BNP, LVEF and LV thickness were all independent determinants of lower PALS, with odd ratios almost unchanged after adjustment (all P ≤0.0004). At a mean follow-up of 21 (range 18-23) months, patients with adverse cardiac events (n=65) presented with more impaired LA function (all P ≤0.0005), with a significant association between impaired PALS and worse outcome, hazard ratio 0.94 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.92-0.97, P<0.0001]. After comprehensive adjustment, PALS remained strongly associated with worse outcome, adjusted hazard ratio 0.86 (95% CI 0.79-0.94; P=0.0008).
The present study, by gathering a unique HCM cohort, suggests a strong link between LA dysfunction and poor outcome, to be further investigated.

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