Predictive value of various Doppler-derived parameters of atrial conduction time for successful atrial fibrillation ablation

Shanks M, Valtuille L, Choy JB, Becher H

Echo Res Pract 2015 Dec;2(4):99-107

PMID: 26795694


Various Doppler-derived parameters of left atrial electrical remodeling have been demonstrated to predict recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF) after AF ablation. The aim of this study was to compare three Doppler-derived measures of atrial conduction time in patients undergoing AF ablation, and to investigate their predictive value for successful procedure. In 32 prospectively enrolled patients undergoing the first AF ablation, atrial conduction time was estimated by measuring the time delay between the onset of P-wave on the surface ECG to the peak of the a’-wave on the pulsed-wave Doppler and color-coded tissue Doppler imaging of the left atrial lateral wall, and to the peak of the A-wave on the pulsed-wave Doppler of the mitral inflow. There was a significant difference in the baseline atrial conduction time measured by different echocardiographic techniques. Most (88%) patients had normal or only mildly dilated left atrium. At 6 months, 12 patients (38%) had recurrent AF/atrial tachycardia. The duration of history of AF was the only predictor of AF/atrial tachycardia recurrence following the first AF ablation (P=0.024; OR 1.023, CI 1.003-1.044). A combination of normal left atrial volume and history of paroxysmal AF of ≤48 months was associated with the best outcome. Predictive value of the Doppler derived parameters of atrial conduction time may be reduced in the early stages of left atrial remodeling. Future studies may determine which echocardiographic parameter correlates best with the extent of left atrial remodeling and is most predictive of successful AF ablation.