Sinus rhythm restores ventricular function in patients with cardiomyopathy and no late gadolinium enhancement on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging who undergo catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation

Liang Han Ling, Andrew J. Taylor, Andris H. Ellims, Leah M. Iles, Alex J A Mclellan, Geoffrey Lee, Saurabh Kumar, Geraldine Lee, Andrew Teh, Caroline Medi, David M. Kaye, Jonathan M. Kalman, Peter M Kistler

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Background Atrial fibrillation (AF) and systolic heart failure (HF) frequently coexist. Restoration of sinus rhythm by catheter ablation may result in a variable improvement in left ventricular (LV) function. Late-gadolinium enhancement (LGE) on cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging identifies irreversible structural change and may predict incomplete recovery of LV function. Objective To prospectively select patients with AF and symptomatic HF but without LV LGE and report the impact of AF ablation on LV function. Methods Patients with AF and symptomatic HF (LV ejection fraction <50%) resistant to at least 1 antiarrhythmic drug and prior electrical cardioversion underwent contrast-enhanced CMR. LGE-negative patients underwent pulmonary vein isolation and left atrial roof line with continued antiarrhythmic medications until follow-up CMR 6 months postablation. Sixteen patients (aged 52 ± 11 years; mean AF duration 37 ± 39 months; left atrial size 44 ± 13 mL/m2) underwent AF ablation. Results At 6 months, 15 of the 16 patients maintained sinus rhythm and underwent CMR. LV ejection fraction increased from 40% ± 10% at baseline to 60% ± 6% (P <.001) and LV end-systolic volume index decreased from 52 ± 12 to 36 ± 9 mL/m2 (P <.001). Left atrial size decreased from 44 ± 13 to 36 ± 11 mL/m2 (P <.01). Conclusions In patients with AF and LV dysfunction in the absence of LGE on CMR, ventricular function normalizes following the restoration of sinus rhythm. CMR may assist in the selection of patients with combined AF and systolic HF most likely to benefit from catheter ablation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1334-1339
Number of pages6
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Ablation
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance
  • Heart failure
  • Late-gadolinium enhancement

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