Impaired left atrial reservoir and conduit strain in patients with atrial fibrillation and extensive left atrial fibrosis

Luuk H. G. A. Hopman, Mark J. Mulder, Anja M. van der Laan, Ahmet Demirkiran, Pranav Bhagirath, Albert C. van Rossum, Cornelis P. Allaart, Marco J. W. Götte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is associated with profound structural and functional changes in the atria. In the present study, we investigated the association between left atrial (LA) phasic function and the extent of LA fibrosis using advanced cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging techniques, including 3-dimensional (3D) late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) and feature tracking. Methods: Patients with paroxysmal and persistent AF (n = 105) underwent CMR in sinus rhythm. LA global reservoir strain, conduit strain and contractile strain were derived from cine CMR images using CMR feature tracking. The extent of LA fibrosis was assessed from 3D LGE images. Healthy subjects underwent CMR and served as controls (n = 19). Results: Significantly lower LA reservoir strain, conduit strain and contractile strain were found in AF patients, as compared to healthy controls (− 15.9 ± 3.8% vs. − 21.1 ± 3.6% P < 0.001, − 8.7 ± 2.7% vs. − 12.6 ± 2.5% P < 0.001 and − 7.2 ± 2.3% vs. − 8.6 ± 2.2% P = 0.02, respectively). Patients with a high degree of LA fibrosis (dichotomized by the median value) had lower reservoir strain and conduit strain compared to patients with a low degree of LA fibrosis (− 15.0 ± 3.9% vs. − 16.9 ± 3.3%, P = 0.02 and − 7.9 ± 2.7% vs. − 9.5 ± 2.6%, P = 0.01, respectively). In contrast, no difference was found for LA contractile strain (− 7.1 ± 2.4% vs. − 7.4 ± 2.3%, P = 0.55). Conclusions: Impaired LA reservoir and conduit strain are present in AF patients with extensive atrial fibrosis. Future studies are needed to examine the biologic nature of this association and possible therapeutic implications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number131
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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