Aims In patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), echocardiographic tissue velocity imaging (TVI) enables assessment of electrical and structural remodelling by measuring, respectively, the AF cycle length (AFCL-TVI) and the atrial fibrillatory wall motion velocity (AFV-TVI). We investigated the clinical and echocardiographic correlates of atrial remodelling assessed by TVI. Methods and results We studied 215 patients presenting with AF. In all patients, we measured the AFCL-TVI and the AFV-TVI in the left atrium. Standard baseline characteristics were recorded. We divided patients by median value of AFV-TVI and AFCL-TVI to evaluate the determinants of atrial remodelling. A low AFV-TVI was related with a longer median duration of the current AF episode, a higher prevalence of significant mitral regurgitation and a thicker left ventricle (LV). Multivariate analysis revealed that a low AFV-TVI was independently associated with a longer median duration of the current AF episode [OR 0.09 (95% CI 0.03-0.027); P <0.001]. Univariately, a short AFCL-TVI was associated with a long median duration of the current AF episode, the use of anti-arrhythmic drugs, a lower LV ejection fraction (LVEF) and a smaller left atrial volume index (LAVI). Multivariate analysis revealed that LVEF [OR 1.48 (95% CI 1.09-2.01); P = 0.013] and LAVI [OR 1.37 (95% CI 1.08-1.74); P = 0.010] were independently associated with AFCL-TVI. Conclusion This study investigated the clinical and echocardiographic correlates of atrial remodelling assessed by TVI. The AFV-TVI is reduced in patients with a long AF duration and who have mitral regurgitation. In addition, the AFCL is long if LAVI is high and LVEF preserved. Tissue velocity imaging parameters measured during AF may be helpful to characterize the degree of atrial remodelling and optimize treatment.
- Atrial fibrillation
- Atrial substrate