The objectives of this study were to establish reference values and define the determinants of left atrial appendage (LAA) flow velocities in the general population. LAA flow velocities (contraction and filling velocities) were assessed by transesophageal echocardiography in 310 subjects aged ≥45 years, sampled from the population-based Stroke Prevention: Assessment of Risk in a Community study. All subjects were in sinus rhythm, with preserved left ventricular systolic function (ejection fraction ≥50%), and without valvular disease. Values of LAA contraction and filling velocities were established for various age groups in the population. Age was negatively associated with LAA contraction and filling velocities, which decreased by 4.1 cm/s (p < 0.001) and 2.0 cm/s (p < 0.01) for every 10 years of age, respectively. Contraction velocities were 5 cm/s higher in men than in women (p < 0.05). After adjusting for age and sex, heart rate was independently associated with LAA contraction velocities (p < 0.001; nonlinear association). Body surface area, left atrial size, left ventricular mass index, and a history of previous cardiac disease or hypertension showed no significant association with LAA flow velocities (p > 0.05). Furthermore, detailed analysis of 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure data (available in 253 subjects) showed no association between various blood pressure parameters (systolic and diastolic blood pressure, out-of-bed and in-bed measurements) and LAA flow velocities (all p > 0.05). In summary, the present study establishes the reference values for LAA flow velocities in a large sample of the general population. LAA flow velocities progressively decline with age in subjects with preserved left ventricular systolic function. (C) 2000 by Excerpta Medica, Inc.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine