Left atrial, pulmonary vein, and left atrial appendage anatomy in Indigenous individuals: Implications for atrial fibrillation

Nicholas A.R. Clarke, Nadarajah Kangaharan, Benedict Costello, Samuel J. Tu, Nicole Hanna-Rivero, Kim Le, Ian Agahari, Wai Kah Choo, Bradley M. Pitman, Celine Gallagher, Kawa Haji, Kurt C. Roberts-Thomson, Prashanthan Sanders, Christopher X. Wong

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Indigenous Australians experience a greater burden of AF. Whether this is in-part due to differences in arrhythmogenic structures that appear to contribute to AF differences amongst other ethnicities is not known. Methods: We studied forty individuals matched for ethnicity and other AF risk factors. Computed tomography imaging was used to characterise left atrial (LA), pulmonary vein (PV), and left atrial appendage (LAA) anatomy. Results: There were no significant differences in LA diameters or volumes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. Similarly, we could not detect any consistent differences in PV number, morphology, diameters, or ostial characteristics according to ethnicity. LAA analyses suggested that Indigenous Australians may have a greater proportion of non chickenwing LAA type, and a tendency for eccentric, oval-shaped LAA ostia; however, there were no other differences seen with regards to LAA volume or depth. Indexed values for LA, PV and LAA anatomy corrected for body size were broadly similar. Conclusions: In a cohort of individuals matched for AF risk factors, we could find no strong evidence of ethnic differences in LA, PV, and LAA characteristics that may explain a predisposition of Indigenous Australians for atrial arrhythmogenesis. These findings, in conjunction with our previous data showing highly prevalent cardiometabolic risk factors in Indigenous Australians with AF, suggest that it is these conditions that are more likely responsible for the AF substrate in these individuals. Continued efforts should therefore be directed towards risk factor management in an attempt to prevent and minimise the effects of AF in Indigenous Australians.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100775
JournalIJC Heart and Vasculature
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Computed tomography
  • Indigenous

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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