Left ventricular extracellular volume expansion does not predict recurrence of atrial fibrillation following catheter ablation

Suvai Gunasekaran, Daniel C. Lee, Bradley P. Knight, Jeremy D. Collins, Lexiaozi Fan, Amar Trivedi, Ann B. Ragin, James C. Carr, Rod S. Passman, Daniel Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: A recent study reported that diffuse left ventricular (LV) fibrosis is a predictor of atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence following catheter ablation, by measuring postcontrast cardiac T1 (an error prone metric as per the 2017 Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance consensus statement) using an inversion-recovery pulse sequence (an error prone method in arrhythmia) in AF ablation candidates. The purpose of this study was to verify the prior study, by measuring extracellular volume (ECV) fraction (an accurate metric) using a saturation-recovery pulse sequence (accurate method in arrhythmia). Methods and Results: This study examined 100 AF patients (mean age = 62 ± 11 years, 69 males and 31 females, 67 paroxysmal [pAF] and 33 persistent [peAF]) who underwent a preablation cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) exam. LV ECV and left atrial (LA) and LV functional parameters were quantified using standard analysis methods. During an average follow-up period of 457 ± 261 days with 4 ± 3 rhythm checks per patient, 72 patients maintained sinus rhythm. Between those who maintained sinus rhythm (n = 72) and those who reverted to AF (n = 28), the only clinical characteristic that was significantly different was age (60 ± 12 years vs 66 ± 9 years); for CMR metrics, neither mean LV ECV (25.1 ± 3.3% vs 24.7 ± 3.7%), native LV T1 (1093.8 ± 73.5 ms vs 1070.2 ± 115.9 ms), left ventricular ejection fraction (54.1 ± 11.2% vs 55.7 ± 7.1%), nor LA end diastolic volume/body surface area (42.4 ± 14.8 mL/m2 vs 43.4 ± 19.6 mL/m2) were significantly different (P ≥.23). According to Cox regression tests, none of the clinical and imaging variables predict AF recurrence. Conclusion: Neither LV ECV nor other CMR metrics predict recurrence of AF following catheter ablation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2020


  • MRI
  • atrial fibrillation
  • fibrosis
  • recurrence
  • risk stratification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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