The effect of atrial fibrillation (AF) on left atrial (LA) function has not been well defined and has been largely based on limited echocardiographic evaluation. This study examined the effect of AF and a subsequent Cox-Maze IV (CMIV) procedure on atrial function.Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) was performed in 20 healthy volunteers, 8 patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) and 7 patients with persistent or long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation (LSP AF). Six of the PAF patients underwent surgical ablation with the CMIV procedure and 5 underwent both pre- and postoperative cMRIs. The persistent or LSP AF patients underwent only postoperative cMRIs because all scans were performed with patients in normal sinus rhythm. Volume-time curves throughout the cardiac cycle and regional wall shortening were evaluated using the cine images and compared across groups.Compared with normal volunteers, patients with PAF had significantly decreased reservoir contribution to left ventricular (LV) filling (P = 0.0010), an increased conduit function contribution (P = 0.04) and preserved booster pump function (P = 0.14). Following the CMIV procedure, significant reductions were noted with respect to reservoir and booster pump function, with corresponding increases in conduit function. These differences were more drastic in patients with persistent/LSP AF. Regional wall motion was significantly reduced by PAF in all wall segments (P < 0.05), but was not further reduced by the CMIV. Despite changes in LA function, LV function was preserved following surgery.PAF significantly altered LA function and has a detrimental effect on regional wall motion. Surgical intervention further altered LA function, but the reasons for this are likely multifactorial and not entirely related to the lesion set itself.
View details for DOI 10.1093/ejcts/ezt656
View details for Web of Science ID 000344968500024
View details for PubMedID 24523494
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4271083