Atrial Fibrillation, Heart Failure and Left Atrial Function
Goldberg, Adam Cleveland Clinic
Qamruddin, Salima Cleveland Clinic
Rodriguez, L. Leonardo Cleveland Clinic
Mazgalev, Todor N. Cleveland Clinic
Griffin, Brian P. Cleveland Clinic
Wagoner, David R. Van Cleveland Clinic
Zhang, Youhua Cleveland Clinic
Popović, Zoran B. Cleveland Clinic
Our aim was to assess how atrial fibrillation (AF) induction, chronicity, and RR interval irregularity affect left atrial (LA) function and size in the setting of underlying heart failure (HF), and to determine whether AF effects can be mitigated by vagal nerve stimulation (VNS).
HF was induced by 4-weeks of rapid ventricular pacing in 24 dogs. Subsequently, AF was induced and maintained by atrial pacing at 600 bpm. Dogs were randomized into control (n = 9) and VNS (n = 15) groups. In the VNS group, atrioventricular node fat pad stimulation (310 μs, 20 Hz, 3–7 mA) was delivered continuously for 6 months. LA volume and LA strain data were calculated from bi-weekly echocardiograms.
RR intervals decreased with HF in both groups (p = 0.001), and decreased further during AF in control group (p = 0.014), with a non-significant increase in the VNS group during AF. LA size increased with HF (p<0.0001), with no additional increase during AF. LA strain decreased with HF (p = 0.025) and further decreased after induction of AF (p = 0.0001). LA strain decreased less (p = 0.001) in the VNS than in the control group. Beat-by-beat analysis showed a curvilinear increase of LA strain with longer preceding RR interval, (r = 0.45, p <0.0001) with LA strain 1.1% higher (p = 0.02) in the VNS-treated animals, independent of preceding RR interval duration. The curvilinear relationship between ratio of preceding and pre-preceding RR intervals, and subsequent LA strain was weaker, (r = 0.28, p = 0.001). However, VNS-treated animals again had higher LA strain (by 2.2%, p = 0.002) independently of the ratio of preceding and pre-preceding RR intervals.
In the underlying presence of pacing-induced HF, AF decreased LA strain, with little impact on LA size. LA strain depends on the preceding RR interval duration.
Copyright: © 2016 Goldberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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