Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia and associated with increased morbidity and mortality resulting from thromboembolism and heart failure. AF often presents initially as paroxysmal and may progress to a sustained form over time. Sustained forms of AF may be associated with increased symptoms and cardiovascular morbidity, and AF progression may be associated with increased risk of clinically adverse events and outcomes. The present review discusses the clinical factors of arrhythmia progression and risk stratification available to assess the probability of AF progression. Furthermore, currently available treatment options for preventing AF progression are explored and evaluated.
Background:myBeat is a novel cutaneous patch device that continuously records electrocardiography and automatically detects atrial fibrillation (AF) by using a new algorithm based on RR intervals. We aimed to test the diagnostic ability of this novel device for screening silent AF in asymptomatic patients.
Methods and Results:A multicenter randomized prospective clinical study was performed. To be eligible for inclusion in the study, patients had to be ≥65 years of age and have ≥1 of the following risk factors: hypertension, diabetes, heart failure, ischemic heart disease, stroke, and transient ischemic attack. Patients with prior AF, an implantable pacemaker, and previous palpitation or syncope were excluded. The 300 participants were divided into 2 groups, those using myBeat (n=150) or those undergoing 24-h Holter monitoring (control group; n=150), for AF screening. The rate of AF detection was significantly higher in the myBeat than control group (16 [10.7%] vs. 7 [4.7%], respectively; P=0.04). Multivariable logistic regression analysis revealed that prior heart failure was an independent predictor of silent AF (odds ratio 12.07; 95% confidence interval 1.67–86.27; P=0.01). A 7.7-fold difference in silent AF was found between subjects with CHA2DS2-VASc scores of 1 point and those with scores ≥4 points.
Conclusions:The novel patch device using an original algorithm was beneficial for screening of silent AF.
Background:The efficacy of ablation targeting low-voltage areas (LVAs) is controversial, although LVA presence is well known to be associated with atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence after ablation. AF substrate may not localize within LVAs.
Methods and Results:This observational study enrolled 405 consecutive patients who underwent an initial AF ablation procedure. The left atrial (LA) voltage map was obtained after pulmonary vein isolation. LVAs were defined as areas with voltage <0.5 mV. To estimate whole LA electrophysiological degeneration, mean regional voltage at each of the 6 regions and LA total conduction velocity were measured. LVAs existed in 143 of 405 (35.3%) patients. Patients with LVAs demonstrated lower mean regional voltages throughout all 6 regions compared to those without LVAs (1.3 [1.8, 0.8] vs. 0.6 [1.0, 0.2] mV for the anterior wall, P<0.001). In contrast, LA conduction velocity was lower in patients with LVAs than in those without (0.89 [1.01, 0.74] vs. 0.93 [1.03, 0.87] m/s, P<0.001). Multivariate analysis revealed that low LA total conduction velocity and a higher number of regions with mean voltage reduction were independently associated with AF recurrence, although LVA presence was not.
Conclusions:Patients with localized LA LVAs were characterized by whole LA electrophysiological degeneration as assessed by mean regional voltage and conduction velocity. In addition, whole LA electrophysiological degeneration parameters were well associated with AF recurrence.
Background:Data on outcomes for patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and active cancer are scarce. The effect of active cancer on thrombosis and bleeding risks in elderly (≥75 years) patients with non-valvular AF (NVAF) enrolled in the All Nippon AF In the Elderly (ANAFIE) Registry were prospectively analyzed.
Methods and Results:In this subanalysis of the ANAFIE Registry, a prospective, multicenter, observational study conducted in Japan, we compared the incidence rates of clinical outcomes between active cancer and non-cancer groups. Relationships between primary outcomes and anticoagulation status were evaluated. Of the 32,725 patients enrolled in the Registry, 3,569 had active cancer at baseline; 92.0% of active cancer patients received anticoagulants (23.7%, warfarin; 68.2%, direct oral anticoagulants [DOACs]). Two-year probabilities of stroke/systemic embolic events (SEE) were similar in the cancer (3.33%) and non-cancer (3.16%) groups. Patients with cancer had greater incidences of major bleeding (2.86% vs. 2.04%), all-cause death (10.95% vs. 6.77%), and net clinical outcomes (14.63% vs. 10.00%) than those without cancer. In patients without cancer, DOACs were associated with a decreased risk of stroke/SEE, major bleeding, all-cause death, and net clinical outcome compared with warfarin. No between-treatment differences were observed in patients with active cancer.
Conclusions:Active cancer had no effect on stroke/SEE incidence in elderly NVAF patients, but those with cancer had higher incidences of major bleeding events and all-cause death than those without cancer.
Background:The risk of bleeding and stroke/systemic embolism (SE) events associated with apixaban vs. warfarin among oral anticoagulant-naïve Japanese patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) has not been well studied in daily clinical practice.
Methods and Results:Clinical data for 12,090 patients were retrospectively extracted from the medical records of patients with NVAF (aged ≥20 years, creatinine clearance [CrCl] ≥15 mL/min) newly initiated to apixaban or warfarin treatment between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2017, at 315 general practitioner clinics and 87 hospitals across Japan. After applying propensity score matching, patient characteristics were well-balanced between the apixaban and warfarin groups (4,523 patients each). The incidence rate (per 100 person-years) of major bleeding was lower in the apixaban vs. warfarin group (1.17 vs. 1.64; hazard ratio [HR], 0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.54–0.93; P=0.01), as was that of stroke/SE (1.14 vs. 1.73; HR, 0.65; 95% CI, 0.50–0.85; P<0.01). When patients were stratified by CrCl (≥50 mL/min and <50 mL/min), the P value for interaction was not statistically significant between subgroups (P=0.31 for major bleeding and P=0.32 for stroke/SE).
Conclusions:The benefit of apixaban over warfarin for the reduction in risk of major bleeding and stroke/SE could be generalizable to daily clinical practice and to patients with reduced renal function.
Background:Echocardiographic data on the cardiac structure and function in elderly patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) and heart failure (HF) are limited. This subcohort study of the ANAFIE Registry analyzed echocardiographic parameters to identify cardiac structural and functional characteristics.
Methods and Results:Of 32,726 subjects in the ANAFIE population, 1,494 (4.6%) were entered as the echocardiography subcohort. Half of the patients, including those with persistent and permanent AF, older age (≥80 years), and CHADS2score ≥2, had left atrial (LA) volume index ≥48 mL/m2, indicating severe LA enlargement. LA enlargement significantly correlated with impaired LA reservoir function, regardless of age and CHADS2score. Types of AF and rhythm were strongly related to LA volume and reservoir function (P<0.0001). Moderate-to-severe mitral and tricuspid regurgitation were significantly more common, and the early diastolic mitral inflow velocity to mitral annulus velocity ratio was significantly higher among patients with than without HF history (all, P<0.0001).
Conclusions:In this subcohort, LA enlargement correlated with impaired LA reservoir function. Elderly patients with non-valvular AF and a history of HF had LA enlargement and dysfunction, increased LV mass index, low LV ejection fraction, and high heart rate.
Background:It is unclear whether there are differences in the clinical factors between atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence and adverse clinical events (AEs), including stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA), major bleeding, and death, after AF ablation.
Methods and Results:We examined the data from a retrospective multicenter Japanese registry conducted at 24 cardiovascular centers between 2011 and 2017. Of the 3,451 patients (74.1% men; 63.3±10.3 years) who underwent AF ablation, 1,046 (30.3%) had AF recurrence and 224 (6.5%) suffered AEs (51 strokes/TIAs, 71 major bleeding events, and 36 deaths) over a median follow-up of 20.7 months. After multivariate adjustment, female sex, persistent and long-lasting persistent AF (vs. paroxysmal AF), and stepwise increased left atrial diameter (LAd) quartiles were significantly associated with post-ablation recurrences. A multivariate analysis revealed that an age ≥75 years (vs. <65 years), body weight <50 kg, diabetes, vascular disease, left ventricular (LV) ejection fraction <40% (vs. ≥50%), Lad ≥44 mm (vs. <36 mm), and creatinine clearance <50 mL/min were independently associated with AE incidences, but not with recurrences.
Conclusions:This study disclosed different determinants of post-ablation recurrence and AEs. Female sex, persistent AF, and enlarged LAd were determinants of post-ablation recurrence, whereas an old age, comorbidities, and LV and renal dysfunction rather than post-ablation recurrence were AEs determinants. These findings will help determine ablation indications and post-ablation management.
Background:The randomized controlled VOLCANO trial demonstrated comparable 1-year rhythm outcomes between patients with and without ablation targeting low-voltage areas (LVAs) in addition to pulmonary vein isolation among paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) patients with LVAs
Methods and Results:An extended-follow-up study of 402 patients enrolled in the VOLCANO trial with PAF, divided into 4 groups based on the results of voltage mapping: group A, no LVA (n=336); group B, LVA ablation (n=30); group C, LVA without ablation (n=32); and group D, incomplete voltage map (n=4). At 25 (23, 31) months after the initial ablation, AF/atrial tachycardia (AT) recurrence rates were 19% in group A, 57% in group B, 59% in group C, and 100% in group D. Recurrence rates were higher in patients with LVAs than in those without (group A vs. B+C, P<0.0001), and were comparable between those with and without LVA ablation (group B vs. C, P=0.83). Among patients who underwent repeat ablation, ATs were more frequently observed in patients with LVAs (Group B+C, 50% vs. A, 14%, P<0.0001). In addition, LVA ablation increased the incidence of AT development (group B, 71% vs. C, 32%, P<0.0001).
Conclusions:Patients with LVAs demonstrated poor long-term rhythm outcomes irrespective of LVA ablation. ATs were frequently observed in patients with LVAs, and LVA ablation might exacerbate the occurrence of iatrogenic ATs.
Background:The use of iodine contrast agents is one possible limitation in cryoballoon ablation (CBA) for atrial fibrillation (AF). This study investigated intracardiac echography (ICE)-guided contrast-free CBA.
Methods and Results:The study was divided into 2 phases. First, 25 paroxysmal AF patients (Group 1) underwent CBA, and peri-balloon leak flow velocity (PLFV) was assessed using ICE and electrical pulmonary vein (PV) lesion gaps were assessed by high-density electroanatomical mapping. Then, 24 patients (Group 2) underwent ICE-guided CBA and were compared with 25 patients who underwent conventional CBA (historical controls). In Group 1, there was a significant correlation between PLFV and electrical PV gap diameter (r=–0.715, P<0.001). PLFV was higher without than with an electrical gap (mean [±SD] 127.0±28.6 vs. 66.6±21.0 cm/s; P<0.001) and the cut-off value of PLFV to predict electrical isolation was 105.7 cm/s (sensitivity 0.700, specificity 0.929). In Group 2, ICE-guided CBA was successfully performed with acute electrical isolation of all PVs and without the need for “rescue” contrast injection. Atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrence at 6 months did not differ between ICE-guided and conventional CBA (3/24 [12.5%] vs. 5/25 [20.0%], respectively; P=0.973, log-rank test).
Conclusions:PLFV predicted the presence of an electrical PV gap after CBA. ICE-guided CBA was feasible and safe, and could potentially be performed completely contrast-free without a decrease in ablation efficacy.
Background:The relationship between nutritional status and the incidence or prognosis of atrial fibrillation (AF) has been reported, but no studies have described the relationship between the outcomes of AF catheter ablation (CA) and nutritional status as assessed by various scoring tools. We aimed to verify the hypothesis that preoperative nutritional status is associated with arrhythmia recurrence after CA for AF.
Methods and Results:We evaluated 913 patients (age, 67±10 years; men, 72%; paroxysmal AF, 56%) who underwent CA for AF between November 2011 and November 2017. Patients were systematically followed with an endpoint of atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrence, the predictive value of which was compared among 3 scoring tools (Controlling Nutritional Status [CONUT] score / Geriatric Nutritional Risk Index [GNRI] / Prognostic Nutritional Index [PNI]). Patients were divided into normal nutrition (CONUT <2 [n=637] / GNRI >98 [n=836] / PNI >38 [n=910]) and undernutrition (CONUT ≥2 [n=276] / GNRI ≤98 [n=77] / PNI ≤3 [n=3]) groups. AF recurred in 274 patients (mean follow-up, 2.3±0.8 years). The AF recurrence rate was higher in patients with undernutrition than in those with normal nutrition (CONUT/GNRI) status. Multivariate Cox regression analysis identified undernutrition status (GNRI ≤98) as an independent predictor of atrial tachyarrhythmia recurrence.
Conclusions:The AF recurrence rate after CA was higher in patients with undernutrition than in those with normal nutrition as stratified by the nutrition scoring tools.
Background:The effects of catheter ablation (CA) energy sources on myocardial injury and coagulation biomarkers among Japanese non-valvular atrial fibrillation patients receiving uninterrupted periprocedural edoxaban are unclear. This KYU-RABLE exploratory subanalysis compared the effects of CA using radiofrequency energy vs. cryoballoon on: (1) myocardial injury; and (2) plasma edoxaban and coagulation biomarker concentrations measured before and after CA.
Methods and Results:Plasma creatine kinase (CK), edoxaban, D-dimer, and prothrombin fragment 1+2 (F1+2) concentrations within 1 h before CA were compared with concentrations the day after. All biomarkers increased after CA, regardless of the energy source, but especially with cryoballoon. Significantly higher increases in CK concentrations from before to the day after CA were seen with cryoballoon compared with radiofrequency energy (P<0.0001). Edoxaban concentrations were similar in both groups. Concentrations of D-dimer and F1+2 increased in both groups, but were significantly higher in the cryoballoon group (P<0.0001 and P=0.006, respectively). There were no significant between-group differences in the incidence of thrombotic or bleeding events.
Conclusions:Uninterrupted edoxaban concentrations were similar in both groups. Both myocardial injury and coagulation biomarkers increased after CA, especially with cryoballoon, but there was no difference in the incidence of thrombotic or bleeding events. These findings suggest the efficacy of uninterrupted edoxaban, regardless of the CA energy source. Periprocedural anticoagulation, particularly with cryoballoon, should be undertaken with care.
Background:Outcomes of cryoballoon ablation for persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) are unclear, especially in Japanese patients, so the effectiveness and safety of cryoballoon ablation in clinical practice were retrospectively compared with those of contact force-sensing radiofrequency (CFRF) ablation including the high-power protocol.
Methods and Results:Consecutive patients with persistent AF were reviewed, and 253 and 265 patients who underwent cryoballoon and CFRF ablation, respectively, were enrolled. The primary endpoint was atrial arrhythmia recurrence. The secondary endpoints were periprocedural complications and repeat ablation. The rate of additional left atrial (LA) ablation after pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) was similar between groups (68.8% cryoballoon vs. 74.0% CFRF, P=0.19). Freedom from atrial arrhythmia recurrence was comparable between groups over a follow-up of 25.5±12.5 months (72.3% cryoballoon vs. 69.8% CFRF; adjusted hazard ratio (HR) 0.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.59–1.21, P=0.36). Outcomes were similar in the subgroups of PVI alone and PVI plus additional LA ablation. LA posterior wall isolation, absence of defragmentation, and low creatine clearance, but not catheter selection, were associated with the primary endpoint. Periprocedural complications (adjusted HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.34–1.54, P=0.41) and repeat ablation (adjusted HR 1.11, 95% CI 0.71–1.74, P=0.64) were similar for both procedures.
Conclusions:Cryoballoon ablation for persistent AF in Japanese clinical practice had acceptable outcomes comparable to those of advanced CFRF ablation.
Background:Radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) is an effective therapy for atrial fibrillation (AF). However, it the problem of AF recurrence remains. This study investigates whether a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) can accurately predict AF recurrence in patients with AF who underwent RFCA, and compares CNN with conventional statistical analysis.
Methods and Results:Three-hundred and ten patients with AF after RFCA treatment, including 94 patients with AF recurrence, were enrolled. Nine variables are identified as candidate predictors by univariate Cox proportional hazards regression (CPH). A CNNSurv model for AF recurrence prediction was proposed. The model’s discrimination ability is validated by a 10-fold cross validation method and measured by C-index. After back elimination, 4 predictors are used for model development, they are N-terminal pro-BNP (NT-proBNP), paroxysmal AF (PAF), left atrial appendage volume (LAAV) and left atrial volume (LAV). The average testing C-index is 0.76 (0.72–0.79). The corresponding calibration plot appears to fit well to a diagonal, and the P value of the Hosmer-Lemeshow test also indicates the proposed model has good calibration ability. The proposed model has superior performance compared with the DeepSurv and multivariate CPH. The result of risk stratification indicates that patients with non-PAF, higher NT-proBNP, larger LAAV and LAV would have higher risks of AF recurrence.
Conclusions:The proposed CNNSurv model has better performance than conventional statistical analysis, which may provide valuable guidance for clinical practice.
Article type: ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Subject area: Electrophysiology
2022 Volume 86 Issue 2 Pages
Published: January 25, 2022
Released on J-STAGE: January 25, 2022 Advance online publication: December 23, 2021
Background:Danon disease is typically associated with cardiomyopathy and ventricular pre-excitation. The study aimed to characterize the clinical profile of Danon disease, analyze electrocardiographic (ECG) and electrophysiologic features, and investigate their association with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome and fasciculoventricular pathways (FVPs).
Methods and Results:Clinical course, family history, ECG and electrophysiological data were collected from 16 patients with Danon disease. Over 0.4–8 years of follow up, 1 female patient died suddenly, and 5 male patients died of progressive heart failure by age 13–20 years. Family history analysis revealed that 3 mothers experienced hospitalization or death for heart failure at age 28–41 years. There was 100% penetrance for ECG abnormalities in 13 patients with original ECGs. Short PR intervals and delta waves were present in 9 and 8 patients, respectively. There were significant age-associated increases in the QRS complex width (r=0.556, P=0.048) and the number of leads with notched QRS (r=0.575, P=0.04). Four patients who underwent electrophysiological studies all had FVPs, and 2 of them still had left-side atrioventricular pathways.
Conclusions:Danon disease causes a malignant clinical course characterized by early death caused by heart failure in both genders and progressive ECG changes as patients age. The pre-excited ECG pattern is related to FVPs and WPW, which is suggestive of extensive cardiac involvement.
Background:There is a gradual progression from paroxysmal to persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) in humans. To elucidate the mechanism involved, the creation of an artificial atrial substrate to persist AF in mice was attempted.
Methods and Results:This study used wild type (WT) mice, but it is difficult to induce AF in them. A novel antegrade perfusion method from the left ventricle (LV) to enlarge both atria for artificial atrial modification was proposed in this study. Short duration AF was induced by burst pacing under this method. Optical mapping analysis revealed non-sustained focal type and meandering spiral reentrants after short duration AF. A tiny artificial substrate (~1.2 mm in diameter) was added in by laser irradiation to create a critical atrial arrhythmogenic substrate. Burst pacing was performed in a non-laser group (n=8), a circular-shape laser group (n=8), and a wedge-shaped dent laser group (n=8). We defined AF and atrial tachycardia (AT) as atrial arrhythmia (AA). Long-lasting AA was defined as lasting for ≥30 min. Long-lasting AA was observed in 0/8, 0/8, and 6/8 (75%) mice in each group. Optical mapping analysis revealed that the mechanism was AT with a stationary rotor around the irradiated margin.
Conclusions:Regrettably, this study failed to reproduce persistent AF, but succeeded in creating an arrhythmic substrate that causes sustained AT in WT mice.