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Circ J. 2013;77(1):68-72. Epub 2012 Oct 6.

Aortic atherosclerotic plaque and long-term prognosis in patients with atrial fibrillation-a transesophageal echocardiography study.

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1
Division of Cardiology, Bell Land General Hospital, Sakai, Japan. hokura@fides.dti.ne.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Both left atrial spontaneous echo contrast (LASEC) and aortic atherosclerotic plaque (AoP) ≥ 4.0 mm in thickness are predictors of cardiovascular events after stroke. The aim of this study was to investigate impact of AoP ≥ 4.0 mm or LASEC on cardiovascular events in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

METHODS AND RESULTS:

One hundred and eight consecutive patients with AF were enrolled and studied. Patients were grouped according to the presence or absence of AoP ≥ 4.0 mm in the proximal aortic arch on transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). Cardiovascular events included death, myocardial infarction, ischemic stroke, systemic embolism and congestive heart failure. During a follow-up period (median, 3.9 years), cardiovascular event-free survival rate was significantly lower in patients with AoP ≥ 4.0 mm than in patients without AoP ≥ 4.0 mm (log-rank, P=0.01). In contrast, patients with LASEC showed a trend toward lower cardiovascular event-free survival than those without LASEC (log-rank, P=0.10). Univariate TEE predictors of cardiovascular events were AoP ≥ 4.0 mm, LASEC and left atrial appendage flow velocity. On multivariate Cox regression analysis, AoP ≥ 4.0 mm was the only TEE predictor of cardiovascular events during follow-up (P=0.02, hazard ratio, 2.6; 95% confidence interval: 1.1-6.0).

CONCLUSIONS:

In the present unselected patients with AF, AoP predicted long-term cardiovascular events.

PMID:
23047295
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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