Left atrial disease and left atrial reverse remodelling across different stages of heart failure development and progression: a new target for prevention and treatment

Riccardo M Inciardi, Andrea Bonelli, Tor Biering-Sorensen, Matteo Cameli, Matteo Pagnesi, Carlo Mario Lombardi, Scott D Solomon, Marco Metra

Abstract

The left atrium is a dynamic chamber with peculiar characteristics. Stressors and disease mechanisms may deeply modify its structure and function, leading to left atrial remodelling and disease. Left atrial disease is a predictor of poor outcomes. It may be a consequence of left ventricular systolic and diastolic dysfunction and neurohormonal and inflammatory activation and/or actively contribute to the progression and clinical course of heart failure through multiple mechanisms such as left ventricular filling and development of atrial fibrillation and subsequent embolic events. There is growing evidence that therapy may improve left atrial function and reverse left atrial remodelling. Whether this translates into changes in patient's prognosis is still unknown. In this review we report current data about changes in left atrial size and function across different stages of development and progression of heart failure. At each stage, drug therapies, lifestyle interventions and procedures have been associated with improvement in left atrial structure and function, namely a reduction in left atrial volume and/or an improvement in left atrial strain function, a process that can be defined as left atrial reverse remodelling and, in some cases, this has been associated with improvement in clinical outcomes. Further evidence is still needed mainly with respect of the possible role of left atrial reverse remodelling as an independent mechanism affecting the patient's clinical course and as regards better standardization of clinically meaningful changes in left atrial measurements. Summarizing current evidence, this review may be the basis for further studies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Heart Failure
Volume24
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)959-975
Number of pages17
ISSN1388-9842
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Keywords

  • Atrial Fibrillation/complications
  • Atrial Function, Left
  • Atrial Remodeling
  • Heart Atria/diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure/complications
  • Humans

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