Atrial mechanical hypofunction after electrical cardioversion of persistent or long-lasting persistent atrial fibrillation: a retrospective cohort study

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Renato De Vecchis *
Andrea Paccone
Marco Di Maio
(*) Corresponding Author:
Renato De Vecchis | devecchis.erre@virgilio.it

Abstract

In the present retrospective cohort study, we have evaluated the missed or delayed atrial mechanical recovery in a population of patients with persistent or long-lasting persistent AF who achieved restoration of sinus rhythm on the ECG by electrical cardioversion (ECV).  The endpoint of our   study was   the failure to recover the normal mechanics of the left atrium.  Inclusion criterion was the persistent or long-lasting persistent atrial fibrillation successfully treated by means of    ECV , provided that  a pertinent documentation  was made available, comprising ECG, conventional 2D echo-color-Doppler and   speckle tracking echocardiography(STE)  evaluation, with also a STE assessment  of the atria at the days 1, 30 and 90  from the ECV freely available within  the clinical record  of the patient. Out of a total of 80 patients with persistent or long-standing persistent AF, retrospectively enrolled, as many as  22.5% of them did not achieve the normalization of their  atrial STE profile, even though they had been converted to sinus rhythm on the ECG by means of ECV.  The building of ROC curves allowed us to establish that early measurements of global atrial strain could serve to predict  both the risk of failure to recover the atrial mechanical function and the one of AF relapses over a 12 month follow-up. The   values of 18% and 17% were also calculated  to serve as cut off values, respectively,  for the risk  of atrial mechanical dysfunction and for the risk of AF  relapses over a 12 month follow-up. Failure to recover the atrial reservoir function can accompany a restoration of sinus rhythm on the ECG in patients with long-standing persistent AF. In this case, a serial STE evaluation could be useful to evaluate the atrial hypofunction over time.


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