Introduction: Atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence after ablation is associated with left atrial (LA) fibrosis on late gadolinium enhanced (LGE) magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We sought to determine pre-ablation, clinical characteristics that associate with the extent of LA fibrosis in patients undergoing catheter ablation for AF.Methods and results: Consecutive patients presenting for catheter ablation of AF were enrolled and underwent LGE-MRI prior to initial AF ablation. The extent of fibrosis as a percentage of total LA myocardium was calculated in all patients prior to ablation. The cohort was divided into quartiles based on the percentage of fibrosis. Of 60 patients enrolled in the cohort, 13 had, 5% fibrosis (Group 1), 15 had 5–7% fibrosis (Group 2), 17 had 8–13% fibrosis (Group 3), and 15 had 14–36% fibrosis (Group 4). The extent of LA fibrosis was positively associated with time in continuous AF, and the presence of persistent or longstanding persistent AF. However, no statistically significant difference was observed in the presence of comorbid conditions, age, BMI, LA volume, or family history of AF among the four groups. After adjusting for diabetes and hypertension in a multivariable linear regression model, paroxysmal AF remained independently and negatively associated with the extent of fibrosis (−4.0 ± 1.8, P = 0.034).Conclusion: The extent of LA fibrosis in patients undergoing AF ablation is associated with AF type and time in continuous AF. Our results suggest that the presence and duration of AF are primary determinants of increased atrial LGE.
- Atrial fibrillation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine