Association of left atrial function with incident atypical atrial flutter after atrial fibrillation ablation

Esra Gucuk Ipek, Joseph E. Marine, Mohammadali Habibi, Jonathan Chrispin, Joao Lima, Jack Rickard, David Spragg, Stefan L. Zimmerman, Vadim Zipunnikov, Ronald Berger, Hugh Calkins, Saman Nazarian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background Symptomatic left atrial (LA) flutter (LAFL) is common after atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation. Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the association of baseline LA function with incident LAFL after AF ablation. Methods The source cohort included 216 patients with cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) before initial AF ablation between 2010 and 2013. Patients who underwent cryoballoon or laser ablation, patients with AF during CMR, and those with suboptimal CMR, or missing follow-up data were excluded. Baseline LA volume and function were assessed by feature-tracking CMR analysis. Results The final cohort included 119 patients (mean age 58.9 ± 11 years; 76.5% men; 70.6% patients with paroxysmal AF). During a median follow-up of 421 days (interquartile range 235-751 days), 22 patients (18.5%) had incident LAFL. Baseline LA volume was similar between the 2 groups. In contrast, baseline reservoir, conduit, and contractile function of the LA were significantly impaired in patients with incident LAFL. Baseline global peak longitudinal atrial strain (PLAS) <22.65% predicted incident LAFL with 86% sensitivity and 68% specificity (C statistic 0.76). In a multivariable model adjusting for age, heart failure, and LA volume, PLAS (hazard ratio 0.9 per % increase in PLAS; P =.003) and LA linear lesions (hazard ratio 2.94; P =.020) were independently associated with incident LAFL. The coexistence of PLAS <22.65% and linear lesions was associated with 9-fold increased hazard of incident LAFL. Conclusion Baseline LA function and linear lesions were independently associated with incident LAFL after AF ablation. Linear lesions should be limited to selected cases, especially in patients with impaired LA function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)391-398
Number of pages8
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial flutter
  • Cardiacmagnetic resonance
  • Leftatrium
  • Pulmonary vein isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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