BLOCK 5: Atria, Right Ventricle, & Diastology
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Learning Objectives By Lesson
Left Atrium
  • Explain the function of the left atrium within the cardiovascular system
  • Describe various methods to measure the left atrium
  • Describe the clinical importance of determining left atrial size during echocardiographic exams
  • Explain various means to assess left atrial function
  • List the upper limit of normal for left atrial size when indexed to body surface area
  • Describe the purpose of using transesophageal echocardiography to evaluate the left atrial appendage
  • Describe the various components of pulmonary venous inflow and the clinical importance of atrial reversal flow
Right Atrium
  • Describe how to measure right atrial size
  • List normal right atrial anatomical variants
  • Explain how to measure right atrial pressure
  • Explain how to assess patent foramen ovale
  • Describe the components of hepatic venous flow
Right Ventricle
  • List various right ventricular measurements that can be obtained in the apical 4-chamber and parasternal views
  • List three means to evaluate right ventricular function
  • Describe findings associated with right ventricular pressure and volume overload
  • Describe right-sided hemodynamic measurements that can be made when evaluating the right ventricle
Diastology Introduction
  • Describe the main components of diastole
  • List factors that can influence diastolic function
  • Describe why diastolic function assessment is important
  • List risk factors that can contribute to diastolic dysfunction
  • Describe normal diastolic function
  • Explain how to start the assessment of diastolic dysfunction
Grades of Diastolic Dysfunction
  • List the grades of diastolic dysfunction
  • Explain the pathophysiologic findings occurring at each grade of diastolic dysfunction
  • Describe the transmitral inflow, pulmonary venous flow, and tissue Doppler imaging profiles for each grade of diastolic dysfunction
  • Explain why grade II diastolic dysfunction is termed “pseudonormal”
  • Describe how to use atrial reversal flow and transmitral atrial wave durations to assess for elevated left ventricular filling pressures
  • Describe the clinical value that gained from the E/e’ ratio
Parameters of Diastolic Function
  • List the various parameters that can be used to assess diastolic dysfunction
  • Describe how transmitral pulse wave Doppler can be used to assess diastolic function
  • List factors that influence deceleration time on transmitral pulse wave Doppler
  • Describe how annular tissue Doppler imaging can be used to assess diastolic function
  • Describe how pulmonary venous flow can be used to assess diastolic function
  • Explain why diastolic function assessment of the left atrial size is important
  • Describe how flow propagation velocity and tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity can be used to evaluate diastolic function
Contributors: Nandan Anavekar, MBBCh; Abdullah Al-abcha, MD; Muhannad Aboud Abbasi, MBBCh; Ribesh Shrestha, MD; Anthony Kashou, MD
Last updated: July 2023.

GCU Education Team
Physician Educators