Aims Accumulating data show the efficacy of catheter ablation (CA) for atrial fibrillation (AF); however, postoperative recurrence is not uncommon. The aim of this study was to identify predictors of AF recurrence in patients undergoing CA. Methods and results We studied 100 patients with symptomatic paroxysmal (68) or persistent (32)AFwhounderwentCApreceded by transthoracic echocardiographic examination. Of these, 50 had sinus rhythm during echocardiography (Group NSR) and 50 had AF rhythm (Group AF). The left atrial (LA) strain was measured by two-dimensional speckle tracking echocardiography. Echocardiographic parameters were compared between the patients with AF recurrence and no recurrence. During 12 months of follow-up, 26 of 100 patients (11 in Group NSR and 15 in Group AF) had AF recurrence; these patients had significantly longer AF duration, a lower LA global strain (LA-GS), lower LA lateral total strain (LA-LS), and larger maximumLAvolume index (LAVImax) than thosewhomaintained sinus rhythm. Multivariate logistic regression identified basal LA-LS and LAVImax as independent predictors of AF recurrence. Furthermore, receiver operating characteristic analyses revealed that basal LA-LS was the most useful parameter for predicting AF recurrence [area under the curve (AUC): 0.84 vs. 0.74 in LAVImax]. Subanalyses showed that LAVImax was another independent predictor of AF recurrence in Group AF, but not in Group NSR, while basal LA-LS was a significant predictor in both groups. Conclusion LA myocardial function assessed by basal LA-LS could predict AF recurrence after CA. Notably, such an assessment could be applicable even during AF rhythm, suggesting its convenience in the clinical setting without defibrillation before analysis.
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