Assessment of left atrial remodeling in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation with speckle tracking echocardiography: a study with an electrophysiological mapping system

  • Yilin Chen
  • Zheng Li
  • Xuedong Shen
  • Wei Wang
  • Yu Kang
  • Zhiqing Qiao
  • Xinhua WangEmail author
  • Jun PuEmail author
Original Paper


This study aimed to evaluate left atrial (LA) remodeling and fibrosis in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) using speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) based on the findings with radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) so as to predict atrial remodeling prior to ablation. A total of 40 patients with paroxysmal AF were enrolled and divided into two groups based on LA bipolar voltage detected during RFCA: those with low-voltage zone (LVZ) (LV group, n = 19) and those without LVZ (non-LV group, n = 21). The segmental and global LA reservoir, conduit and contractile strain (εs, εe, εa) were analyzed using two-dimensional STE before RFCA. The segmental and global εs, εe, εa (%) decreased in the LV group. Especially, the εs in anteroseptal upper (18.32 ± 7.94 vs. 31.61 ± 9.39) and lower segments (16.60 ± 7.23 vs. 29.23 ± 9.81), posteroseptal upper (22.24 ± 6.65 vs. 32.23 ± 10.57) and lower segments (18.24 ± 6.49 vs. 26.40 ± 7.12), and the global εs (23.85 ± 6.74 vs. 30.48 ± 8.67) significantly decreased in the LV group than in the non-LV group (all P < 0.05). The εs ≤ 24.07 in the anteroseptal upper segment was an effective parameter to differentiate the LV group (sensitivity, 84%; specificity, 81%, P < 0.001). Besides, global εs tended to be an independent determinant of the LVZ (odds ratio 1.347, P = 0.046). STE enables a noninvasive method to evaluate LA remodeling prior ablation.


Atrial fibrillation Left atrium Remodeling Speckle tracking echocardiography Strain Substrate 



The authors thank all the members of the hospital for their assistance. All co-authors equally collaborated to the drafting, revision, and final approval of this manuscript.


National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC1301203), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (YG2016MS45, YG2015ZD04).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cardiology, Renji Hospital, School of MedicineShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiChina

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