Left atrial function in diabetes: does it help?

Abstract

Left atrial (LA) structural, functional and mechanical changes have important role in development of diabetic cardiomyopathy and it was discovered that LA remodeling has important prognostic role in the patients with diabetes (DM). Previously the focus of echocardiographic studies in DM population was on the left ventricular structure and function, but the atrioventricular coupling was proved to be one of the main predictors of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in DM patients. Each phase of LA cycle has determinant role in the atrioventricular coupling and therefore the accurate assessment of LA phasic function gained importance over last decade. The failure of any of the three LA phasic functions (reservoir, conduit or contractile) leads potentially to LA dilatation, left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, atrial fibrillation and ultimately development of heart failure with preserved (or even reduced) ejection fraction. Even though LA phasic function has not been extensively studied in DM population, it is reasonable to hypothesize that LA dysfunction is very frequent in these patients, considering the high prevalence of atrial fibrillation and heart failure in these individuals. In research and clinical purposes two techniques have been used for determination of LA phasic function: volumetric and strain. Although these methods fundamentally differ, with their own advantages and limitations, they also provide comparable results that can direct our therapeutic approach in DM patients. Namely, not only that LA function represents an independent predictor of cardiovascular outcome in DM patients, but also it has been also associated with parameters of glycemic control. This review summarized the current knowledge regarding LA phasic function in DM patients.

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Correspondence to Marijana Tadic.

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Tadic, M., Cuspidi, C. Left atrial function in diabetes: does it help?. Acta Diabetol 58, 131–137 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00592-020-01557-x

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Keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Left atrium
  • Phasic function
  • Strain