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Left atrial volume indexed for height2 is a new sensitive marker for subclinical cardiac organ damage in female hypertensive patients


Left atrial enlargement (LAe) is a subclinical marker of hypertensive-mediated organ damage, which is important to identify in cardiovascular risk stratification. Recently, LA indexing for height was suggested as a more accurate marker of defining LAe. Our aim was to test the difference in LAe prevalence using body surface area (BSA) and height2 definitions in an essential hypertensive population. A total of 441 essential hypertensive patients underwent complete clinical and echocardiographic evaluation. Left atrial volume (LAV), left ventricular morphology, and systolic-diastolic function were evaluated. LAe was twice as prevalent when defined using height2 (LAeh2) indexation rather than BSA (LAeBSA) (51% vs. 23%, p < 0.001). LAeh2, but not LAeBSA, was more prevalent in females (p < 0.001). Males and females also differed in left ventricular hypertrophy (p = 0.046) and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD) indexes (septal Em/Etdi: p = 0.009; lateral Em/Etdi: p = 0.003; mean Em/Etdi: p < 0.002). All patients presenting LAeBSA also met the criteria for LAeh2. According to the presence/absence of LAe, we created three groups (Norm = BSA−/h2-; DilH = BSA−/h2+; DilHB = BSA+/h2+). The female sex prevalence in the DilH group was higher than that in the other two groups (Norm: p < 0.001; DilHB: p = 0.036). LVH and mean and septal Em/Etdi increased from the Norm to the DilH group and from the DilH to the DilHB group (p < 0.05 for all comparisons). These results show that LAeh2 identified twice as many patients as comparing LAe to LAeBSA, but that both LAeh2 and LAeBSA definitions were associated with LVH and LVDD. In female patients, the LAeh2 definition and its sex-specific threshold seem to be more sensitive than LAeBSA in identifying chamber enlargement.

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The Working Group on Heart and Hypertension of the Italian Society of Hypertension.

Lorenzo Airale1,, Anna Paini2, Eugenia Ianniello3, Costantino Mancusi4, Antonella Moreo5, Gaetano Vaudo6, Eleonora Avenatti1, Massimo Salvetti2, Stefano Bacchelli3, Raffaele Izzo4, Paola Sormani5, Alessio Arrivi6, Maria Lorenza Muiesan2, Daniela Degli Esposti3, Cristina Giannattasio5, Giacomo Pucci6, Nicola De Luca3, Alberto Milan1

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Airale, L., Paini, A., Ianniello, E. et al. Left atrial volume indexed for height2 is a new sensitive marker for subclinical cardiac organ damage in female hypertensive patients. Hypertens Res 44, 692–699 (2021).

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