Left atrial size-Another Differentiator for Cardiac Amyloidosis

Benjamin T. Fitzgerald, Gregory M. Scalia, Peter A. Cain, Mario J. Garcia, James D. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background: The "sparkled" echocardiographic appearance of amyloid has become less visually obvious in the era of harmonic imaging. Significantly dilated atria in the setting of a normal sized ventricle may be another easy visual marker for cardiac amyloidosis. Methods: A retrospective analysis of echocardiograms of patients with biopsy-proven cardiac amyloid compared with patients with hypertension was conducted. There were 36 patients in each group, and they were matched for left ventricular wall thickness, as well as age and sex. Results: Patients with cardiac amyloid had significantly larger atria than the group with hypertension (left atrial areas 29cm 2 versus 19cm 2, p<0.001, AUC 0.84, volumes 100cm 3 versus 55cm 3, p<0.001, AUC 0.915). A volume of 69cm 3 produced a specificity and sensitivity of 85% for amyloidosis. Conclusions: Atrial dilatation can be used as a visual marker for cardiac amyloidosis. This may be a simple visual method to differentiate this infiltrative cardiomyopathy from left ventricular hypertrophy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)574-578
Number of pages5
JournalHeart Lung and Circulation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011


  • Amyloidosis
  • Diagnosis
  • Echocardiography
  • Heart atria

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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