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Cardiology. 2007;108(1):35-9. Epub 2006 Sep 12.

Raised plasma aldosterone and natriuretic peptides in atrial fibrillation.

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Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of Gentofte, Hellerup, Denmark.



During atrial fibrillation (AF), the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) may be activated. In this study, our aim was to evaluate at a long-term follow-up visit the levels of plasma aldosterone and natriuretic peptides as markers of neurohormonal remodeling in patients with earlier, documented AF in relation to present heart rhythm, clinical data, and the left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). We hypothesized that increased levels of aldosterone and natriuretic peptides were significantly associated with present AF as markers of RAAS activation during the arrhythmia.


We studied 158 patients with earlier ECG-documented AF followed by restored sinus rhythm (SR) attending a follow-up visit 2.6 years (mean) after primary inclusion.


At follow-up, 93 patients had SR. Heart rhythm at follow-up visit (SR/AF), plasma aldosterone, plasma N-terminal pro Brain Natriuretic Peptide (Nt-proBNP), plasma N-terminal pro Atrial Natriuretic Peptide (Nt-proANP), LVEF, medication, and clinical characteristics were recorded. Standard linear multiple regression analysis including age, sex, weight, hypertension, congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease, present AF at follow-up, total duration of AF disease, ongoing medication, and the LVEF as explanatory variables showed that only ongoing treatment with diuretics was significantly associated (likelihood ratio test, p = 0.0057) with a raised log-transformed plasma aldosterone, although present AF at follow-up was related to a high aldosterone level (p = 0.09). For the natriuretic peptides, present AF at follow-up (p < 0.0001), age (p < 0.0001), female gender (p = 0.0047), ischemic heart disease (p = 0.0154), and ongoing treatment with sotalol (p = 0.0003) were all independently associated with high log-transformed plasma Nt-proANP. Likewise, present AF at follow-up (p = 0.0008) as well as age (p < 0.0001) were associated with high log-transformed plasma Nt-proBNP.


In patients with earlier AF, AF at long-term follow-up visit was independently associated with raised levels of Nt-proANP and Nt-proBNP and to some extent with plasma aldosterone indicating neurohormonal activation during arrhythmia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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