Left Atrial Electromechanical Conduction Time Can Predict Six-Month Maintenance of Sinus Rhythm After Electrical Cardioversion in Persistent Atrial Fibrillation by Doppler Tissue Echocardiography

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Background: The purpose of this study was to determine whether atrial electromechanical conduction time (EMT) measured by echocardiography can predict 6-month maintenance of sinus rhythm (SR) after electrical cardioversion in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF). Methods: Fifty-three patients with persistent AF (>1 month) who had successful cardioversion and 30 controls with SR were prospectively enrolled. SR maintenance was assessed during 6-month follow-up. EMT was measured as the time interval from the onset of the P wave on electrocardiography to the peak of the late diastolic wave from the septal and lateral mitral annulus (EMT-S and EMT-L, respectively) and the lateral tricuspid annulus (EMT-T) on tissue Doppler echocardiography. Results: Compared with controls, left atrial (LA) volume index, P-wave duration, and EMT were significantly larger in patients with AF (all P values < .001). In patients with AF, the duration of AF (P = .71) and P-wave duration (P = .24) were not different between the SR maintenance group (n = 23) and the AF recurrence group (n = 30), and there was a trend toward increased LA volume index in the AF recurrence group (47.0 ± 12.4 vs 45.3 ± 12.6 mL/m2, P = .07). EMT-S and EMT-L were significantly larger in the AF recurrence group (131.4 ± 20.9 vs 116.3 ± 15.5 ms, P = .005, and 152.2 ± 15.7 vs 128.9 ± 13.8 ms, P < .001, respectively), but not EMT-T. EMT-S and EMT-L were related to LA volume index (r = .36, P = .008, and r = .33, P = .02, respectively). On multivariate logistic regression analysis, only EMT-L was an independent predictor of identifying patients who remained in SR (P < .001), and the sensitivity and specificity for the prediction of 6-month maintenance of restored SR were 82.6% and 83.3% using a cutoff value of EMT-L ≤ 138.0 ms (odds ratio, 0.862; 95% confidence interval, 0.788-0.942; P = .001). Conclusion: LA EMT was significantly prolonged in patients with recurring AF, indicating significantly depressed atrial conduction in enlarged LA, and can predict 6-month maintenance of SR after electrical cardioversion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-314
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Mar 1



  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardioversion
  • Electromechanical conduction time
  • Tissue Doppler echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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