Vol 22, No 6 (2015)
Original articles
Published online: 2015-12-30

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Left atrial and left atrial appendage functional recovery after cardioversion in patients with recent atrial fibrillation: Serial echocardiographic study

Ahmed S. Ammar, Islam Elsherbiny, Ibtesam I. El-Dosouky, Khaled Abd El Salam, Mohamed Abd El Hamid, Wael Khalil, Mas Ammar
DOI: 10.5603/CJ.a2015.0052
Pubmed: 26412612
Cardiol J 2015;22(6):699-707.


Background: The aim of this study is to point out timing of left atrium and its appendage functional recovery after cardioversion (CV) in recent onset atrial fibrillation (AF).

Methods: Fifty patients; 27 within 48-h (group I) and 23 after 48-h (group II), of AF onset, who had successful CV underwent transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), before and im­mediately after CV, then 15, 30 and 90 days later. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) was performed for group II before and for all patients immediately after CV and 1 month later. Mitral peak A velocity and left atrial (LA) reversal (Ar) velocity, tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) of septal mitral annular velocity (A1) and LA free wall velocity (A3) were recorded. Absence or peak A velocity < 50 cm/s was taken as a cut off value for atrial stunning. Intra-atrial conduction time (IACT) was measured. LA appendage late emptying (LAALE) velocity was measured by TEE-pulsed TDI of LA appendage.

Results: Post CV, all group II and 34% of group I experienced stunning. In both groups, peak A, Ar, A1, A3 and LAALE velocities increased (p = 0.000), while IACT decreased (p = 0.000) progressively over time. Partial recovery occurred after 15 and 30 days, while full recovery occurred 30 and 90 days post CV in groups I and II, respectively. IACT1 and IACT2 correlated with LA diameter (r = 0.2778 and r = 0.227, respectively, p < 0.01).

Conclusions: Stunning and functional recovery of the LA and its appendage are strongly determined by the duration being in AF. Serial IACT by TDI was a good new parameter for detection of functional recovery of LA and LA appendage.