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Int J Cardiol. 2007 Jan 8;114(2):202-9. Epub 2006 Jul 5.

Atrial strain rate echocardiography can predict success or failure of cardioversion for atrial fibrillation: a combined transthoracic tissue Doppler and transoesophageal imaging study.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong, SAR, China.



The purpose of this study was to assess the feasibility of measuring left atrial dysfunction with tissue Doppler imaging derived strain rate and to explore its role in predicting the maintenance of sinus rhythm after cardioversion for atrial fibrillation.


Strain rate (SR) and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) were performed with offline analysis of the basal left atrial wall (LA). SR detected a systolic (Ssr) and early diastolic (Esr) deformation induced by ventricular motion. LA dimensions and volume were measured. Left atrial appendage emptying (LAA_EV) and filling (LAA_FV) velocities were also obtained by transesophageal echocardiography. 27 healthy age-matched controls and 42 patients with AF before cardioversion were studied. Patients were grouped into (1): those who remained in sinus rhythm (group S, n=12) and (2) those who either failed cardioversion or reverted to AF within 4 weeks (group F, n=30). LA dimensions were significantly larger and atrial Esr was significantly lower in group F than group S (all p<0.01). LAA_EV and LAA_FV were not different between groups S and F. Multivariate regression analysis showed that a lower Esr and larger transverse LA diameter (LADtr) were independent predictors of failure of cardioversion (HR, 95% CI: 0.36, 0.14-0.88 and 2.85, 1.33-6.10, respectively). Esr combined with LADtr improved the sensitivity and specificity for predicting successful cardioversion.


SR can be measured in the basal LA wall in atrial fibrillation and the magnitude of the early diastolic SR could predict the success of cardioversion and the likelihood of maintenance of sinus rhythm.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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