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Increased baseline ECG R-R dispersion predicts improvement in systolic function after atrial fibrillation ablation.

  • Author(s): Koene, Ryan J;
  • Buch, Eric;
  • Seo, Young-Ji;
  • Li, Jian-Ming;
  • Mbai, Mackenzi;
  • Chandrashekhar, Y;
  • Shivkumar, Kalyanam;
  • Tholakanahalli, Venkatakrishna N
  • et al.
Abstract

Background

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with left ventricular (LV) systolic dysfunction which may improve after AF ablation. We hypothesised that increased ventricular irregularity, as measured by R-R dispersion on the baseline ECG, would predict improvement in the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) after AF ablation.

Methods

Patients with LVEF <50% at two US centres (2007-2016), having both a preablation and postablation echocardiogram or cardiac MRI, were included. LVEF improvement was defined as absolute increase in LVEF by >7.5%. Multivariable logistic regression (restricted to echocardiographic/ECG variables) was performed to evaluate predictors of LVEF improvement.

Results

Fifty-two patients were included in this study. LVEF improved in 30 patients (58%) and was unchanged/worsened in 22 patients (42%). Those with versus without LVEF improvement had an increased baseline R-R dispersion (645±155 ms vs 537±154 ms, p=0.02, respectively). The average baseline heart rate in all patients was 93 beats per minute. After multivariable logistic regression, increased R-R dispersion (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.00 to 2.55, p=0.03) predicted LVEF improvement.

Conclusions

Increased R-R dispersion on ECG was independently associated with improved systolic function after AF ablation. This broadens the existing knowledge of arrhythmia-induced cardiomyopathy, demonstrating that irregular electrical activation (as measured by increased R-R dispersion on ECG) is associated with a cardiomyopathy capable of improving after AF ablation.

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