Author + information
- Received June 6, 1988
- Revision received August 28, 1988
- Accepted October 3, 1988
- Published online March 1, 1989.
- Warren J. Manning, MD,
- David E. Leeman, MD,
- Patricia J. Gotch, BS and
- Patricia C. Come, MD, FACC∗
- ↵∗Address for reprintsPatricia C. Come, MD, Cardiovascular Division, Beth Israel Hospital, 330 Brookline Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02215.
Full recovery of atrial mechanical activity may not occur immediately after successful electrical cardioversion of atrial fibrillation to sinus rhythm. To examine the time course of recovery of left atrial mechanical function, serial two-dimensional, M-mode and transmitral pulsed Doppler echocardiographic studies were performed in 21 patients after elective direct current cardioversion of atrial fibrillation of 3 weeks' to 24 months' duration (mean 5 months).
Over 3 months of follow-up, there were significant increases in both peak A wave velocity (p < 0.005) and percent atrial contribution to total left ventricular filling (p < 0.005). Compared with values in a normal control population, peak A wave velocity and percent atrial contribution to total left ventricular filling did not return to normal until 3 weeks after cardioversion in patients who remained in sinus rhythm. Left atrial dimension also decreased over the follow-up period (p < 0.05) in patients with persistent sinus rhythm.
These results may have important implications in guiding the appropriate duration of anticoagulant therapy after cardioversion, and in clinically assessing the hemodynamic benefit of restoring sinus rhythm in an individual patient.
☆ This study was presented, in part, at the American Heart Association National Meeting, Anaheim, California, November 1987.
☆☆ We are grateful for the assistance of James J. Ferguson III, MD in developing a computer analysis program and to Kit Hastings for preparation of the manuscript.
- Received June 6, 1988.
- Revision received August 28, 1988.
- Accepted October 3, 1988.