Intra-Atrial Dyssynchrony During Sinus Rhythm Predicts Recurrence After the First Catheter Ablation for Atrial Fibrillation

Luisa Ciuffo, Susumu Tao, Esra Gucuk Ipek, Tarek Zghaib, Muhammad Balouch, Joao A.C. Lima, Saman Nazarian, David D. Spragg, Joseph E. Marine, Ronald D. Berger, Hugh Calkins, Hiroshi Ashikaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of intra-atrial dyssynchrony as a marker of underlying left atrial (LA) remodeling to predict recurrence after the first atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation. Background: Catheter ablation for AF remains far from curative with relatively high recurrence rates. One of the causes of recurrence is poor patient selection out of a diverse patient population with different degrees of LA remodeling. Methods: We included 208 patients with a history of AF (59.4 ± 10.0 years of age; 26.0% nonparoxysmal AF) referred for catheter ablation of AF who underwent pre-ablation cardiac magnetic resonance in sinus rhythm. Clinical follow-up was 20 ± 6 months. Using tissue tracking cardiac magnetic resonance, we measured the LA longitudinal strain in each of 12 equal-length segments in 2- and 4-chamber views. We defined intra-atrial dyssynchrony as the standard deviation of the time to the peak longitudinal strain corrected by the cycle length (SD-time to peak strain [TPS], %). Results: Patients with AF recurrence after ablation (n = 101) had significantly higher SD-TPS than those without (n = 107; 3.9% vs. 2.2%; p < 0.001). Multivariable cox analysis showed that SD-TPS was associated with recurrence after adjusting for clinical risk factors, AF type, LA structure and function, and fibrosis (p < 0.001). Furthermore, receiver-operating characteristics analysis showed SD-TPS improved prediction of recurrence better than clinical risk factors, LA structure and function, and fibrosis. Conclusions: Intra-atrial dyssynchrony during sinus rhythm is an independent predictor of recurrence after the first catheter ablation of paroxysmal or persistent AF. Assessment of intra-atrial dyssynchrony may improve ablation outcomes by refining patient selection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-319
Number of pages10
JournalJACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • atrial fibrillation
  • cardiac MRI
  • left atrial
  • left atrial function
  • pulmonary vein isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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