Association of left atrial volume index and all-cause mortality in patients referred for routine cardiovascular magnetic resonance: a multicenter study

Mohammad A. Khan, Eric Y. Yang, Yang Zhan, Robert M. Judd, Wenyaw Chan, Faisal Nabi, John F. Heitner, Raymond J. Kim, Igor Klem, Sherif F. Nagueh, Dipan J. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Background: Routine cine cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) allows for the measurement of left atrial (LA) volumes. Normal reference values for LA volumes have been published based on a group of European individuals without known cardiovascular disease (CVD) but not on one of similar United States (US) based volunteers. Furthermore, the association between grades of LA dilatation by CMR and outcomes has not been established. We aimed to assess the relationship between grades of LA dilatation measured on CMR based on US volunteers without known CVD and all-cause mortality in a large, multicenter cohort of patients referred for a clinically indicated CMR scan. Method: We identified 85 healthy US subjects to determine normal reference LA volumes using the biplane area-length method and indexed for body surface area (LAVi). Clinical CMR reports of patients with LA volume measures (n = 11,613) were obtained. Data analysis was performed on a cloud-based system for consecutive CMR exams performed at three geographically distinct US medical centers from August 2008 through August 2017. We identified 10,890 eligible cases. We categorized patients into 4 groups based on LAVi partitions derived from US normal reference values: Normal (21-52 ml/m2), Mild (52-62 ml/m2), Moderate (63-73 ml/m2) and Severe (> 73 ml/m2). Mortality data were ascertained for the patient group using electronic health records and social security death index. Cox proportional hazard risk models were used to derive hazard ratios for measuring association of LA enlargement and all-cause mortality. Results: The distribution of LAVi from healthy subjects without known CVD was 36.3 ± 7.8 mL/m2. In clinical patients, enlarged LA was associated with older age, atrial fibrillation, hypertension, heart failure, inpatient status and biventricular dilatation. The median follow-up duration was 48.9 (IQR 32.1-71.2) months. On univariate analyses, mild [Hazard Ratio (HR) 1.35 (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 1.11 to 1.65], moderate [HR 1.51 (95% CI 1.22 to 1.88)] and severe LA enlargement [HR 2.14 (95% CI 1.81 to 2.53)] were significant predictors of death. After adjustment for significant covariates, moderate [HR 1.45 (95% CI 1.1 to 1.89)] and severe LA enlargement [HR 1.64 (95% CI 1.29 to 2.08)] remained independent predictors of death. Conclusion: LAVi determined on routine cine-CMR is independently associated with all-cause mortality in patients undergoing a clinically indicated CMR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4
Pages (from-to)4
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2019


  • Biplane area-length method
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance
  • Left atrial volume
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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