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Intern Med. 2018 Aug 1;57(15):2131-2139. doi: 10.2169/internalmedicine.9831-17. Epub 2018 Mar 9.

Relationship between Impairment of the Vascular Endothelial Function and the CHA2DS2-VASc Score in Patients with Sinus Rhythm and Non-valvular Atrial Fibrillation.

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Division of Cardio-angiology, Nephrology and Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Iwate Medical University, Japan.
Division of Cardiology, Department of Internal Medicine, Iwate Medical University, Japan.


Objective and methods There is little information concerning the influence of the heart rhythm on the vascular endothelial function in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (AF) compared with studies concerning sinus rhythm (SR). The present study included paroxysmal (n=184) or chronic (n=53) AF patients without heart failure and control subjects with SR (n=79) matched for age, gender and the CHA2DS2-VASc score. Paroxysmal AF was defined as episodes that terminated spontaneously within 7 days, while chronic AF was defined as longstanding AF that was refractory to cardioversion for 12 months or longer. There were no significant differences in the numbers of patients receiving renin-angiotension-aldosterone system inhibitors or statins among the three groups. Results Among the 237 AF patients (155 men, mean age 64±9 years, mean CHA2DS2-VASc score 1.8±1.4), the flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) was 5.4%±2.6% in the paroxysmal AF group, 4.3%±2.1% in the chronic AF group and 6.5%±3.5% in the SR group. There were significant differences among the 3 groups (all, p<0.05). Nitroglycerin-induced dilatation (NMD) was noted in 14.6%±6.5% of the paroxysmal AF group, 16.5%±9.1% of the chronic AF group and 12.7%±5.9% of the SR group, with no significant differences among the 3 groups. There was a significant negative correlation between the CHA2DS2-VASc scores and the FMDs value in all 3 groups (paroxysmal AF group:r=-0.322, p<0.01; chronic AF group:r=-0.291, p<0.05; SR group:r=-0.326, p<0.01). Conclusion In comparison with SR, the frequency and duration of AF episodes appear to cause deterioration of the vascular endothelial function.


CHA2DS2-VASc score; atrial fibrillation; flow mediated dilatation; vascular endothelial function

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