• echocardiography;
  • left atrial function;
  • pre-eclampsia


Aim: To assess the effect of short-term pressure overload on left atrial (LA) mechanical function in pre-eclampsia.

Methods: Twenty women with pre-eclampsia and 17 age-matched healthy pregnant women were included. LA volumes were measured echocardiographically at the time of mitral valve opening (Vmax), onset of atrial systole (p-wave at the electrocardiography = Vp) and mitral valve closure (Vmin) according to the biplane area-length method.

Results: The mean age, gestational age, weight and body surface area were similar in pre-eclampsia and controls. The ventricular septal and posterior wall thickness were greater in pre-eclampsia (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in LA diameter, Vmax, Vmin, Vp, LA-passive emptying volume, LA-passive emptying fraction, LA-active emptying volume, LA-active emptying fraction, conduit volume, LA-total emptying volume and LA-total emptying fraction between the groups.

Conclusion: Left atrial mechanical function didn’t change in pre-eclampsia. We conclude that short-lasting pressure overload is not capable of inducing changes in LA function.