DOI: 10.1161/jaha.123.032215 ISSN: 2047-9980

Association of Atrial Fibrillation Progression With Left Atrial Functional Reserve and Its Reversibility

Kazutoshi Hirose, Koki Nakanishi, Masao Daimon, Kentaro Iwama, Yuriko Yoshida, Yasuhiro Mukai, Yuko Yamamoto, Tomoko Nakao, Tsukasa Oshima, Takumi Matsubara, Yu Shimizu, Gaku Oguri, Toshiya Kojima, Eriko Hasumi, Katsuhito Fujiu, Hiroyuki Morita, Issei Komuro
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Atrial fibrillation (AF) progression is closely related to heart failure occurrence, and catheter ablation carries a beneficial effect for heart failure prevention. Recently, particular attention has been given to left atrial (LA) function and functional reserve in the pathogenesis linking AF and heart failure, although its significance and reversibility is not well studied.

Methods and Results

We prospectively investigated 164 patients with AF with normal left ventricular systolic function and free from heart failure who underwent first catheter ablation and pre‐/postprocedural echocardiography. Conventional and speckle‐tracking echocardiography were performed at rest and during passive leg lifting to assess LA size, LA reservoir strain (LARS), and functional reserve calculated as passive leg lifting‐LARS – rest‐LARS. Patients were categorized into 3 AF subtypes: paroxysmal AF (N=95), persistent AF (PeAF; N=50), and long‐standing persistent AF (LS‐PeAF; N=19). The PeAF and LS‐PeAF groups had larger LA size and reduced LARS compared with the paroxysmal AF group (all P <0.05). LA functional reserve was significantly impaired in the LS‐PeAF group ( P =0.003). In multivariable analysis, LS‐PeAF and advanced age were significantly associated with impaired LA functional reserve. Among 149 patients with sinus rhythm 1 to 2 days after catheter ablation, LARS was significantly improved in both PeAF and LS‐PeAF groups but was still lower than that in the paroxysmal AF group. Sinus rhythm restoration also led to amelioration of LA functional reserve in patients with LS‐PeAF.


AF progression was related to impaired LARS and LA functional reserve, and restoration of sinus rhythm might contribute to early LA reverse remodeling.

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