Publication: Atrial function in paroxysmal AF patients with and without heart failure with preserved ejection fraction: data from the AF-RISK study

In a study by Vicente Artola Arita et al. published in American Heart Journal, it was shown that left and right atrial impaired functions in patients with paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation were associated with HFpEF in comprasion to those without. On the other hand, left ventricular function did not differ.


Heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and atrial fibrillation (AF) are cardiovascular conditions that often coexist. The diagnosis of any of the conditions leads to suspicion of the other. Both conditions have overlapping symptoms, biomarker profile, and echocardiographic changes. Diagnosis of underlying HFpEF in patients with AF is cumbersome. This shared profiling led to the hypothesis that both conditions might reflect similar remodeling processes in the heart.

This was a sub-study  from AF-RISK in which patients with paroxysmal AF with HFpEF were matched with those without HFpEF. Atrial function was assessed using 2D speckle tracking. Speckle tracking is an echocardiographic imaging technique that analyzes the motion of tissues in the heart by using the naturally occurring speckle pattern in the myocardium.



The authors concluded that in paroxysmal AF patients more impaired strain phases of the left and right atria  were associated with HFpEF. Interestingly, left ventricular function did not differ between these two groups

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