Left atrial strain is associated with arrhythmia recurrence after atrial fibrillation ablation: Cardiac magnetic resonance rapid strain vs. feature tracking strain

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

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Purpose: The present study assesses different left atrial (LA) strain approaches in relation to atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence after ablation and compares LA feature tracking (FT) strain to novel rapid LA strain approaches in AF patients. Methods: This retrospective single-center study comprised of 110 prospectively recruited AF patients who underwent cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging in sinus rhythm prior to their first pulmonary vein isolation ablation. LA rapid strain (long axis strain and atrioventricular (AV)-junction strain), LA FT strain, and LA volumes were derived from 2-chamber and 4-chamber cine images. AF recurrence was followed up for 12 months using either 12‑lead ECGs or rhythm Holter monitoring. Results: Arrhythmia recurrence was observed in 39 patients (36%) after the 90-day blanking period, occurring at a median of 181 (122–286) days. LA long axis strain, AV-junction strain, and FT strain were all more impaired in patients with AF recurrence compared to patients without AF recurrence (long axis strain: P < 0.01; AV-junction strain: P < 0.001; FT strain: P < 0.01, respectively). Area under the curve (AUC) values for LA remodeling parameters in association with AF recurrence were 0.68 for long axis strain, 0.68 for AV-junction strain, 0.66 for FT strain, 0.66 for LA volume index. Phasic FT LA strain demonstrated that contractile strain had the highest AUC (0.70). Conclusion: Both LA rapid strain and LA FT strain are associated with arrhythmia recurrence after ablation in AF patients. LA rapid strain can be a convenient and reproducible alternative for LA FT strain to assess LA function in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of cardiology
Early online date2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2023


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial remodeling
  • Atrial strain
  • Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR)

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