Transesophageal Cardioversion and Defibrillation

Echocardiographic parameters for predicting maintenance of sinus rhythm after internal atrial defibrillation.

Omran H, Jung W, Schimpf R, MacCarter D, Rabahieh R, Wolpert C, Illien S, Luderitz B. University of Bonn, Germany. Am J Cardiol 1998 Jun 15;81(12):1446-9. Chronic atrial fibrillation (AF), which is refractory to external electrical direct current shock and/or pharmacologic cardioversion, may be successfully cardioverted using internal atrial defibrillation. To avoid unnecessary procedures, it is important to be able to predict which patients will revert to AF. Thirty-eight patients with chronic AF underwent successful internal atrial defibrillation and were followed for 6 months after restoration of sinus rhythm. Left atrial (LA) diameter, left ventricular ejection fraction, maximum LA appendage area, and peak emptying velocities of the LA appendage were analyzed to determine which of these factors were associated with recurrence of AF. Forty-nine percent of patients had a recurrence of AF within 6 months following internal atrial defibrillation. The preprocedural ejection fraction (mean +/- SD 59 + 14% vs 57 + 13%, p = 0.63), LA diameter (4.2 +/- 0.6 cm vs 4.5 +/- 0.6 cm, p = 0.16), and LA appendage area (5.0 +/- 1.5 cm2 vs 5.8 +/- 1.5 cm2, p = 0.13) did not differ significantly between patients who maintained sinus rhythm and those who had recurrence of AF. Peak emptying velocities of the LA appendage before cardioversion were significantly lower in patients with recurrence of AF compared with patients who maintained sinus rhythm (0.26 +/- 0.1 m/s vs 0.49 +/- 0.17 m/s, p = 0.001). A peak emptying velocity <0.36 had a sensitivity of 82% and a specificity of 83% for predicting recurrence of AF.

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