Association of CMR-measured la function with heart failure development: Results from the MESA study

Mohammadali Habibi, Harjit Chahal, Anders Opdahl, Ola Gjesdal, Thomas M. Helle-Valle, Susan R. Heckbert, Robyn McClelland, Colin Wu, Steven Shea, Gregory Hundley, David A. Bluemke, João A.C. Lima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to assess the association between left atrial (LA) volume and function measured with feature-tracking cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and development of heart failure (HF) in asymptomatic individuals. BACKGROUND: Whether alterations of LA structure and function precede or follow HF development remains incompletely understood. We hypothesized that significant alterations of LA deformation and architecture precede the development of HF in the general population. METHODS: In a case-control study nested in MESA (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis), baseline LA volume and function assessed using CMR feature-tracking were compared between 112 participants with incident HF (mean age 68.4 ± 8.2 years; 66% men) and 224 age- and sex-matched controls (mean age 67.7 ± 8.9 years; 66% men). Participants were followed up for 8 years. All individuals were in normal sinus rhythm at the time of imaging, without any significant valvular abnormalities and free of clinical cardiovascular diseases. RESULTS: Individuals with incident HF had greater maximal and minimal LA volume indexes (LAVImin) than control subjects (40 ± 13 mm3/m 2 vs. 33 ± 10 mm3/m2 [p <0.001] for maximal LA index and 25 ± 11 mm3/m2 vs. 17 ± 7 mm3/m2 [p <0.001] for LAVImin). The HF case subjects also had smaller global peak longitudinal atrial strain (PLAS) (25 ± 11% vs. 38 ± 16%; p <0.001) and lower LA emptying fraction (40 ± 11% vs. 48 ± 9%; p <0.001) at baseline. After adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, left ventricular mass, and N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide, global PLAS (odds ratio: 0.36 per SD [95% confidence interval: 0.22 to 0.60]) and LAVImin (odds ratio: 1.65 per SD [95% confidence interval: 1.04 to 2.63]) were independently associated with incident HF. CONCLUSIONS: Deteriorations in LA structure and function preceded development of HF. Lower global PLAS and higher LAVI min, measured using CMR feature-tracking, were independent markers of incident HF in a multiethnic population of asymptomatic individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)570-579
Number of pages10
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • feature-tracking MRI
  • heart failure
  • left atrial function
  • left atrial strain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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