, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 51-58
Date: 05 Oct 2010

Effect of catheter ablation on the left ventricular mass index and other echocardiograph parameters in atrial fibrillation patients: comparison with antiarrhythmic drug treatment

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Catheter ablation (CA) is reported to improve left ventricular (LV) function in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). This study compared the effects of CA and antiarrhythmic drug treatment (AT) on LV remodeling and other echocardiography parameters in AF.


We performed a non-randomized prospective study involving 72 drug-resistant AF patients who were treated with either CA (n = 42) or who declined CA and continued on AT (n = 30). Baseline and follow-up (mean 20.7 ± 7.5 months) echocardiography was performed in all patients. The maintenance of sinus rhythm was determined based on clinical interview, electrocardiography, and 24-h Holter and event recording.


There were no significant differences between the two groups in regard to demographic features, blood pressure, and medication. CA was superior to AT with respect to sinus rhythm maintenance, LV ejection fraction, left atrium (LA) diameter, and LA volume index. In addition, CA resulted in decreases in the LV mass [from 190.5 ± 36.1 to 179.3 ± 32.4 g (p = 0.02)] and the LV mass index [from 104.2 ± 20.5 to 98.2 ± 18.3 g/m2 (p = 0.03)]. No parameter improved in AT patients. These improved echocardiographic parameters were observed in both groups with maintained sinus rhythm.


Reverse LV remodeling after CA may include a reduction in the LV mass index, which appears to be associated with sinus rhythm maintenance.