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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2011 February;59(1):17-29

language: English

Atrial fibrillation ablation induces reverse remodelling and impacts cardiac function

Santarpino G. 1, Rubino A. S. 1, Onorati F. 1, Curcio A. 2, Torella D. 2, Tucci L. 3, Indolfi C. 2, Renzulli A. 1

1 Cardiac Surgery Unit, Magna Graecia University, Catanzaro, Italy;
2 Cardiology Unit, Magna Graecia University, Catanzaro, Italy;
3 Pathology Unit, Pugliese-Ciaccio Hospital, Catanzaro, Italy


AIM: Atrio-ventricular anatomo-functional response to successful surgical atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation has been poorly investigated. Determinants of AF recurrence following surgical ablation are still debated.
METHODS: Sixty-nine patients underwent AF ablation during major cardiac surgery. Main outcomes were clinical and echocardiographic results after monopolar and/or bipolar ablation were recorded. Secondary outcomes were freedom from AF, rehospitalization and congestive heart failure (CHF) at follow-up. Predictors of AF-recurrence were evaluated.
RESULTS: Fifty-three patients (76.8%) were in sinus rhythm (SR) at 31.4±10.6 months of mean follow-up. Overall freedom from AF-recurrence was 61.4±6.6%, from hospital readmission 89.9±3.6%, from CHF 91.9±5.05%. Compared to AF-patients, SR-patients demonstrated better freedom from re-hospitalization (98.1±1.9% vs. 62.5±12.1%; P=0.0001) and CHF (94.7±5.1% vs. 77.8±13.9%; P=0.006). At follow-up SR-patients demonstrated atrial (preoperative 5.9±1.2 cm vs. follow-up 5.2±1.0; P=0.01) and ventricular reverse remodelling (preoperative LVDd 5.8±1.6cm vs. follow-up 5.0±1.3 cm; P=0.002 – preoperative LVDs 4.2±1.8 cm vs. follow-up 3.8±1.2 cm; P=0.045). E/A ratio was normal in 90.6% of SR-patients (69.6% of the total population of the study). TDI at the level of the left lateral annulus showed an improved left ventricular systole (Sm), and diastole (Em, E/Em) for SR-patients compared to AF-patients (Sm 9.30±1.66 vs. 7.81±1.41, P=0.001; Em: 10.55±1.87 vs. 7.44±0.40, P=0.001; E/Em: 0.06±0.02 vs. 0.11±0.05, P=0.0001). Preoperative atrial diameter (OR=23.9; P=0.002) and tricuspid insufficiency at follow-up (OR=3.5; P=0.008) were independent predictors of AF-recurrence. Neither etiology, nor duration of AF, nor even ablation technique influenced SR recovery (P=NS for all measurement).
CONCLUSION: Radiofrequency AF ablation achieves 76.8% of SR recovery at follow-up. Maintenance of SR improves clinical, haemodynamic and echocardiographic results.

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