Background and aim: Effects of atrial fibrillation (AF) and its ablative treatment on LV torsion have not yet been fully investigated. This study aimed to examine whether AF patterns of LV contraction and its ablative correction can exert a significant impact on LV torsion by velocity vector imaging (VVI).

Methods: This case-control study conducted in Rajaie Cardiovascular, Medical and Research Center between October 2012 and June 2013. Study participants were 30 consecutive patients with symptomatic paroxysmal AF who met the inclusion criteria. The control group included 24 healthy participants with no history of cardiovascular disease. All individuals were in sinus rhythm at the time of echocardiography before and after the ablation procedure. Two-dimensional (2D) and Doppler echocardiography on a commercially available ultrasound system was performed for all the patients. Scanning was done by a wide-band ultrasound transducer with the frequency range between 2.5-3.5 MHz. The two short-axis views at basal and apical levels were subsequently processed off-line by VVI XStrain software. In order for data analysis, SPSS 16   utilized using paired and independent t-test. p-value ≤0.05 was considered significant.

Results:  LV torsion (°/cm) mean ± SD was significantly lower in paroxysmal AF patients before ablation (0.8±0.3) than the control group (1.5±0.4) (p<0.001) and increased significantly after ablation (1.1±0.5) compared with before ablation (p=0.004), but still significantly lower than the control group (p=0.003). LV Twist, twist rate and untwist rate mean ± SD were significantly lower in paroxysmal AF patients before ablation than the control group and increased significantly after ablation compared with before ablation, but still significantly lower than the control group.

Conclusion: Subclinical LV dysfunction may be detected in paroxysmal AF rhythm by measuring torsional parameters through VVI which improves after AF ablation.


Keywords: Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation, Left ventricle, Torsion, Velocity vector imaging
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