Automatic boundary detection (ABD) is a new echocardiographic modality providing continuous on-line measurements of cavitary area throughout the cardiac cycle. The maze procedure is a new surgical intervention designed to restore sinus rhythm and mechanical atrial contraction as a definitive treatment for patients with atrial fibrillations for whom medical therapy has failed. To evaluate whether ABD may define left atrial function in patients after the maze procedure, we obtained pulsed Doppler recordings of mitral inflow velocity and echocardiographic ABD in 25 patients, 6±2 months after the maze procedure. We measured the left atrial end-systolic cavitary area, mid-diastolic area before atrial contraction, and end-diastolic area (in square centimeters). Left atrial contraction by Doppler was compared with that derived by ABD in patients who underwent the maze procedure and control subjects (n=13), both qualitatively and quantitatively (atrial filling fraction vs active atrial contraction [ABD] where atrial contraction (in percent)=(mid-diastolic area - end-diastolic area) × 100/(end-systolic area - end-diastolic area in percent). Restoration of atrial contraction after the maze procedure was detected by Doppler in 19 patients (76%) and by ABD in 21 patients (84%). The atrial filling fraction was 19±4% in patients compared with values of 34%±8% in control subjects (p<0.001). By ABD atrial contraction was 20%±6% in patients whereas control subjects exhibited values of 41%±14% (p<0.001). The Doppler-derived atrial filling fraction and ABD-derived atrial contraction were closely correlated (r=0.91; p<0.001; y=0.59x+8.6). Thus Doppler techniques complemented by ABD provide direct quantitative indexes of left atrial function throughout the cardiac cycle. Although left atrial contraction and filling are reduced after the maze procedure, left atrial function is restored in most patients with a history of atrial fibrillation, and echocardiographic ABD is a sensitive technique for its detection.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography|
|State||Published - 1995|