Early left atrial dysfunction in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients without chronic right heart failure

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No data are actually available regarding the left atrial (LA) functional assessment by two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography (2D-STE) in early-stage idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). The primary end-point of our study was to assess whether global LA peak strain (GLAPS), measured by 2D-STE analysis, may detect early alterations in LA function in IPF patients without right heart failure (RHF). Between September 2017 and January 2019, 50 consecutive IPF patients (73.8 ± 6.8 years, 36 males) without chronic RHF and 30 controls matched by age, sex and cardiovascular risk factors, were enrolled in an observational retrospective case–control study. All patients underwent a complete echocardiographic study implemented with 2D-STE analysis. GLAPS, left ventricular (LV) global longitudinal strain (GLS), right atrial (RA) reservoir strain (GSA+) and right ventricular (RV)-GLS were obtained in each patient. LVFP were significantly increased in IPF patients in comparison to controls (average E/e′ ratio 14.4 ± 3.0 vs 9.6 ± 1.5, p < 0.0001), while LV-GLS was slightly reduced in IPF patients compared to controls (19.4 ± 3.6% vs 21.0 ± 2.2%, p = 0.03).Moreover, GLAPS was significantly impaired in IPF patients in comparison to controls (18.4 ± 3.7% vs 28.4 ± 5.6%, p < 0.0001).Finally, the two groups of patients did not show any statistically significant difference in both RA-GSA + (23.9 ± 3.7% vs 24.5 ± 4.0%, p = 0.49) and RV-GLS (− 22.6 ± 3.3% vs − 23.5 ± 3.0%, p = 0.22). Notably, LV-GLS was strongly inversely correlated both with RV/LV basal diameter ratio and TRV in IPF patients (r = − 0.87 and − 0.82, respectively) but not in controls (r = − 0.29 and − 0.27, respectively). This finding highlights a likely process of ventricular interdependence in non-advanced IPF, with consequent LV diastolic dysfunction and secondary impairment in LV-GLS and GLAPS. Early LA reservoir dysfunction in IPF patients may be secondary to LV diastolic dysfunction induced by ventricular interdependence and may develop before RV diastolic and systolic dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1711-1723
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Global left atrial peak strain
  • Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
  • Prognostic risk stratification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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