Tissue velocity imaging of the left atrium predicts response to flecainide in patients with acute atrial fibrillation

Ione Limantoro*, Cees B. De Vos, Tammo Delhaas, Ernaldo Marcos, Yuri Blaauw, Bob Weijs, Robert G. Tieleman, Ron Pisters, Ulrich Schotten, Isabelle C. Van Gelder, Harry J. G. M. Crijns

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND Acute atrial fibrillation (AF) is often treated with the administration of intravenous flecainide; however, this treatment may not always be successful and is potentially hazardous. Previous studies suggest that electro-echocardiographic tissue velocity imaging (TVI) of the atrial wall may reflect atrial remodeling. OBJECTIVE To study whether atrial TVI can be used to identify nonresponders of flecainide administered intravenously in patients with acute AF. METHODS We used atrial TVI to measure atrial fibrillatory cycle Length determined by using tissue velocity imaging (AFCL-TVI) and atrial fibrillatory wall motion velocity determined by using tissue velocity imaging (AFV-TVI) in the left atrium in 52 (55%) patients presenting with acute AF in the emergency department. These 2 parameters reflect electrical and structural remodeling, respectively. Standard baseline characteristics were recorded. RESULTS Patients were predominantly men (76%) and 64 7 11 years old. Thirty-six (69%) patients had successful cardioversion after flecainide infusion. There were no significant differences in baseline characteristics between responders and nonresponders. Patients with a successful cardioversion had a longer mean AFCL-TVI and higher median (interquartile range) AFV-TVI compared with patients with failed cardioversion: 172 L- 29 ms vs 137 L- 35 ms (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)478-484
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Echocardiography
  • Pharmacological cardioversion
  • Flecainide
  • Tissue Velocity Imaging


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