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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2013 February;61(1):11-20


language: English

Evaluation of atrial function after surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation: a Speckle tracking study

Rondano E. 1, Bortnik M. 2, Occhetta E. 2, Teodori G. 3, Caimmi P. P. 3, Marino P. 2

1 Cardiology Unit, St. Andrea Hospital, Vercelli, Italy; 2 Cardiology Clinic Division, Università del Piemonte Orientale, “Maggiore della Carità” Hospital, Novara, Italy; 3 Cardiac Surgery Division, Università del Piemonte Orientale, “Maggiore della Carità”, Novara, Italy


Aim: Aim of our study was to assess atrial function in patients who underwent atrial fibrillation (AF) surgical ablation by a novel echocardiographic technique (speckle tracking).
Methods: From February 2006 to April 2008, in 11 consecutive pts with paroxysmal or persistent AF (6 males, mean age 69.6±9.7 years) undergoing cardiac surgery, concomitant AF surgical ablation was performed with bipolar radiofrequency clamp (Cobra_Bipolar® system). These pts, all in stable sinus rhythm (SR), were echoed after a mean follow-up of 14.6±9.3 months from surgery. Speckle tracking was used to estimate global LA strain, peak strain and the standard deviation of the time-to-peak (% of R-R’ interval) of the deformation of 6 segments identified along the septum, the roof and the lateral wall of LA in a 4-chamber view.
Results: These patients showed a mild LA enlargement (mean volume 43.4±11.6 mL/sqm). In 5 of them (45.4%) no A waves were detected on MPWD and pulmonary venous flow, but speckle tracking showed preserved atrial function with a mean global strain of 5.5 ± 3.3 %, a mean peak strain of 10.4 ± 5.7 % and a TP-SD of 15.1±8.7 ms.
Conclusion: Our study seems to show that surgical AF ablation has a lower impact on atrial function in comparison with data from literature about percutaneous catheter ablation. This is probably related to an higher sensitivity of this type of echocardiography evaluation, but this finding must be confirmed by other trials.

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