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BACKGROUND: Left atrial (LA) size and function are known predictors of new onset atrial fibrillation (AF) in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) patients. Components of LA deformation including reservoir, conduit, and booster function provide additional information on atrial mechanics. Whether or not LA deformation can augment our ability to predict the risk of new onset AF in HCM patients beyond standard measurements is unknown. METHODS: We assessed LA size, function, and deformation on cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) in 238 genotyped HCM patients and compared this with twenty age, sex, blood pressure and body mass index matched control subjects. We further evaluated the determinants of new onset AF in HCM patients. RESULTS: Compared to control subjects, HCM patients had higher LA antero-posterior diameter, lower LA ejection fraction and lower LA reservoir (19.9 [17.1, 22.2], 21.6 [19.9, 22.9], P = 0.047) and conduit strain (10.6 ± 4.4, 13.7 ± 3.3, P = 0.002). LA booster strain did not differ between healthy controls and HCM patients, but HCM patients who developed new onset AF (n = 33) had lower booster strain (7.6 ± 3.3, 9.5 ± 3.0, P = 0.001) than those that did not (n = 205). In separate multivariate models, age, LA ejection fraction, and LA booster and reservoir strain were each independent determinants of AF. Age ≥ 55 years was the strongest determinant (HR 6.62, 95% CI 2.79-15.70), followed by LA booster strain ≤ 8% (HR 3.69, 95% CI 1.81-7.52) and LA reservoir strain ≤ 18% (HR 2.56, 95% CI 1.24-5.27). Conventional markers of HCM phenotypic severity, age and sudden death risk factors were associated with LA strain components. CONCLUSIONS: LA strain components are impaired in HCM and, together with age, independently predicted the risk of new onset AF. Increasing age and phenotypic severity were associated with LA strain abnormalities. Our findings suggest that the routine assessment of LA strain components and consideration of age could augment LA size in predicting risk of AF, and potentially guide prophylactic anticoagulation use in HCM.

Original publication




Journal article


J Cardiovasc Magn Reson

Publication Date





Atrial fibrillation, Booster strain, Cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, Left atrial strain, Reservoir strain