Left Atrium Assessment by Speckle Tracking Echocardiography in Cryptogenic Stroke: Seeking Silent Atrial Fibrillation
Silent atrial fibrillation (AF) may be the cause of some cryptogenic strokes (CrS). The aim of the study was to analyse atrial size and function by speckle tracking echocardiography in CrS patients to detect atrial disease. Patients admitted to the hospital due to CrS were included prospectively. Echocardiogram analysis included left atrial ejection fraction (LAEF) and atrial strain. Insertable cardiac monitor was implanted, and AF was defined as an episode of ≥1 min in the first year after stroke. Left atrial enlargement was defined as indexed volume > 34 mL/m2. Seventy-five consecutive patients were included, aged 76 ± 9 years (arterial hypertension 75%). AF was diagnosed in 49% of cases. The AF group had higher atrial volume and worse atrial function: peak atrial longitudinal strain (PALs) 19.6 ± 5.7% vs. 29.5 ± 7.2%, peak atrial contraction strain (PACs) 8.9 ± 3.9% vs. 16.5 ± 6%, LAEF 46.8 ± 11.5% vs. 60.6 ± 5.2%; p < 0.001. AF was diagnosed in 20 of 53 patients with non-enlarged atrium, and in 18 of them, atrial dysfunction was present. The multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated an independent association between detection of AF and atrial volume, LAEF, and strain. Cut-off values were obtained: LAEF < 55%, PALs < 21.4%, and PACs < 12.9%. In conclusion, speckle tracking echocardiography in CrS patients improves silent atrial disease diagnosis, with or without atrial enlargement.
Atrial disease; Atrial fibrillation; Echocardiography
Ble M, Benito B, Cuadrado-Godia E, Pérez-Fernández S, Gómez M, Mas-Stachurska A, et al. Left atrium assessment by speckle tracking echocardiography in cryptogenic stroke: Seeking silent atrial fibrillation. J Clin Med. 2021 Aug;10(16):3501.
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