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05.10.2018 | Original Article

Impact of a prolonged interatrial conduction time for predicting the recurrence of atrial fibrillation after circumferential pulmonary vein isolation of persistent atrial fibrillation

Heart and Vessels
Satoshi Higuchi, Koichiro Ejima, Morio Shoda, Eri Yamamoto, Yuji Iwanami, Daigo Yagishita, Nobuhisa Hagiwara


There are some cases that are difficult to cure with only circumferential pulmonary vein isolation (CPVI) of persistent atrial fibrillation (PerAF). Recently, prolonged interatrial conduction times (IACTs), which seem to be associated with progressive remodeled atria, have been reported as a predictor of new-onset AF. This study aimed to investigate the prognostic value of a prolonged IACT for predicting AF recurrences after CPVI of PerAF. One hundred thirteen patients who underwent CPVI without an empirical substrate modification of PerAF were retrospectively analyzed. The IACT was defined as the interval from the earliest P-wave onset on the ECG to the latest activation in the coronary sinus and was measured after achieving the CPVI and conversion to sinus rhythm. During a mean 22.7-month follow-up after the initial procedure, 56 patients (50%) had AF recurrences. Patients with AF recurrence had a longer IACT than those without AF recurrence (p < 0.001). The best discriminative cut-off value for the IACT was 123 ms (sensitivity 53%, specificity 85%). In a Cox multivariate analysis, a prolonged IACT of ≥ 123 ms was the only independent predictor (hazard ratio: 2.38; 95% confidence interval: 1.36–4.16, p = 0.002) of being associated with the incidence of an AF recurrence. Even after multiple CPVI procedures, patients with an IACT ≥ 123 ms had a higher AF recurrence rate than those with an IACT < 123 ms (p = 0.002). In conclusion, a prolonged IACT of ≥ 123 ms may be a useful marker for predicting AF recurrences after both initial and multiple CPVI procedures for PerAF.

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