Atrial fibrosis can present as an arrhythmogenic substrate that is correlated with higher recurrence after catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation. Galectin-3, a beta-galactoside-binding lectin, is highly expressed and secreted from macrophages and is important in inflammation and fibrosis. We assessed the clinical implications of serum galectin-3 in patients with atrial fibrillation. This was a prospective cohort study of consecutive patients who underwent radiofrequency catheter ablation in a tertiary referral center from February 2017 to September 2017. Intracardiac blood sampling, echocardiographic measurements, magnetic resonance imaging with late gadolinium enhancement, electrophysiologic testing, and endocardial voltage mapping were consistently implemented in 75 patients before the ablation. Serum galectin-3 level was higher in patients with diabetes mellitus and was correlated with values that indicated the left atrial size. During a median 14 months of follow-up, atrial tachyarrhythmia recurred in 27% of patients. In multivariable Cox regression analysis, non-paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (hazard ratio 6.8; 95% confidence interval 1.6–28.9) and higher galectin-3 levels (hazard ratio 1.3; 95% confidence interval 1.0–1.7) were associated with increased risk of recurrence. Serum galectin-3 may be a prognostic biomarker for risk stratification in patients with atrial fibrillation planned catheter ablation.
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