Major weight loss prevents long-term left atrial enlargement in patients with morbid and extreme obesity

Carolina A. Garza, Patricia A. Pellikka, Virend K. Somers, Michael G. Sarr, James B. Seward, Maria L. Collazo-Clavell, Elise Oehler, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Aims: To assess long-term changes in left atrial (LA) volume in patients with morbid obesity [body mass index (BMI) ≥35 kg/m2 with co-morbidities] and extreme obesity (BMI ≥40 kg/m2), after surgically-induced weight loss (WL) after gastric bypass surgery. Methods and results: We reviewed 57 patients who underwent gastric bypass surgery and had echocardiograms both before and after the operation. A control group was frequency-matched for BMI, sex, age, and for duration of follow-up. After a mean follow-up of 3.6 years, LA volume did not change significantly in patients who underwent bariatric surgery, but increased in the control group by 15 ± 28 ml (P < 0.0001), and 0.1 ± 0.2 ml (P < 0.0001) for height-indexed LA volume, with a difference between cases and controls that remained significant after adjusting for potential confounders (P = 0.01). In the study population as a whole, there was a positive correlation between change in body weight and change in LA volume (r = 0.22, P = 0.006) independent of clinical conditions associated with LA enlargement. Conclusion: Change in body weight is associated with change in LA size independent of obesity-associated co-morbidities. Successful WL induced by bariatric surgery prevents the progressive increase in LA volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-593
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Echocardiography
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Diastolic function
  • Left atrial volume
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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