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Kardiol Pol. 2003 Aug;59(8):128-41; commentary 141.

Factors determining long-term maintenance of sinus rhythm after cardioversion of persistent atrial fibrillation.

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Chair and Department of Cardiology, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland.



Long-term maintenance of sinus rhythm (SR) after successful cardioversion (CV) of persistent atrial fibrillation (AF) carries a low risk of stroke and may avoid the risks associated with anticoagulation.


To determine the clinical and echocardiographic predictors of maintaining SR during one-year follow-up.


The initial study group consisted of 205 patients with persistent AF of whom 104 (33 females, 71 males, mean age 60.4+/-7.4 years) were randomised to SR restoration and maintenance. The results of transthoracic echocardiography, obtained before CV, were compared between patients who remained in SR and those in whom AF recurred during a one-year follow-up period, using the linear and logistic regression analysis.


SR was present in 63.5% of patients at the end of the follow-up period. Of several analysed echocardiographic parameters, an increased left atrial area (<28 cm(2)) (p<0.02; RR 1.72, OR 1.09-2.71) and an increase in the fractional shortening of the left ventricle (range 25-40%, p<0.05, RR 1.2, OR 1.01-1.44) were significantly associated with SR maintenance during a 12-month follow-up period.


Left atrial area and left ventricular fractional shortening are the independent predictors of the maintenance of SR after successful CV in patients with persistent AF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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