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J Transl Med. 2013 Feb 23;11:49. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-11-49.

Response of circulating heat shock protein 70 and anti-heat shock protein 70 antibodies to catheter ablation of atrial fibrillation.

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  • 1Department of Electrophysiology, Heart Center Leipzig, Strümpellstr, 39, 04289 Leipzig, Germany.



This pilot study investigated the association between heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) and anti-HSP70 antibodies as well as their changes and rhythm outcome after atrial fibrillation (AF) catheter ablation.


We studied 67 patients with AF (59±11 years, 66% male, 66% lone AF) undergoing catheter ablation. Circulating HSP70 and anti-HSP70 antibody levels were quantified using commercially available assays before and 6 months after catheter ablation. Serial 7-day Holter ECGs were used to detect AF recurrences.


At baseline, HSP70 was detectable in 14 patients (21%), but there was no correlation between clinical or echocardiographic variables and the presence or the level of HSP70. In contrast, patients with paroxysmal AF (n=39) showed lower anti-HSP70 antibodies (median [IQR] of 43 [28 - 62] μg/ml) than patients with persistent AF (n=28; 53 [41 - 85] μg/ml, p=0.035). Using multivariable regression analysis, AF type was the only variable associated with anti-HSP70 antibodies (Beta=0.342, p=0.008). At 6 months, HSP70 was present in 27 patients (41%, p<0.001 vs. baseline). Similarly, there was an increase of anti-HSP70 antibodies (48 [36 - 72] vs. 57 [43 - 87] μg/ml, p<0.001). AF recurrence rates were higher in patients with HSP70 increase ≥0.025 ng/ml (32 vs. 11%, p=0.038) or anti-HSP70 increase ≥2.5 μg/ml (26 vs. 4%, p=0.033).


HSP70 and anti-HSP70 antibodies may - at least in part - be associated in the progression of AF and AF recurrence after catheter ablation.

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