Heart, Lung and Circulation
Original Article| Volume 32, ISSUE 2, P215-223, February 2023

Left Atrial Myopathy is Associated With Exercise Incapacity and Ventilatory Inefficiency in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Published:November 17, 2022DOI:


      Left atrial (LA) myopathy is an established component of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM); however, the data about its association with exercise incapacity or ventilatory inefficiency that may be seen in HCM patients are limited. This study aimed to explore the association between LA myopathy, evaluated by echocardiography LA strain, and exercise capacity and ventilatory efficiency, evaluated by cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), in HCM patients.


      This study included 241 consecutive HCM patients (aged 51.2±15.7 years 67.2% male) in sinus rhythm who underwent CPET and transthoracic echocardiography at the same visit. Exercise incapacity (maximal/predicted oxygen consumption [%peakVO2] <80%) and ventilatory inefficiency (ventilation/carbon dioxide output [VE/VCO2] slope >34) were assessed by CPET. Left atrial myopathy was examined by speckle-tracking myocardial deformation parameters: LA reservoir, conduit and booster strain.


      All three LA strain values were univariate predictors of exercise capacity and ventilatory efficiency. Among them, LA reservoir strain had the higher r correlation coefficient for predicting both %peakVO2 and VE/VCO2 slope. Left atrial reservoir strain, presence of angina and family history of HCM were independent predictors of exercise capacity. Left atrial reservoir strain, male gender and non-sustained ventricular tachycardia were independent predictors of ventilatory efficiency. Left atrial reservoir strain was a significant predictor of %peakVO2<80% with an optimal cut-off value of 27% (sensitivity 87% and specificity 31%) and VE/VCO2>34 with an optimal cut-off value of 18% (sensitivity 71% and specificity 83%).


      Left atrial myopathy, as reflected by the LA strain values, was associated with exercise incapacity and ventilatory inefficiency in HCM individuals. Left atrial reservoir strain was the only common independent predictor of %peakVO2 and VE/VCO2 slope.


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