Abstract 15570: Direct Evidence of Endo-Epicardial Dissociation of the Atrial Wall in Patients With Longstanding Persistent Atrial Fibrillation
Introduction: Transition of paroxysmal to longstanding persistent atrial fibrillation (LsPAF) is associated with progressive longitudinal dissociation in conduction and a higher incidence of focal fibrillation waves. The aim of this study was to provide direct evidence that the substrate of LsPAF consists of an electrical double-layer of dissociated waves, and that focal fibrillation waves are caused by endo-epicardial breakthrough.
Hypothesis: LsPAF in humans is caused by electrical dissociation of the endo- and epicardial layer.
Methods: Intra-operative mapping of the endo- and epicardial right atrial wall was performed in 9 patients with induced (N=4), paroxysmal (N=1), persistent (N=2) or longstanding-persistent AF (N=2). A clamp of two rectangular electrode-arrays (128 electrodes; inter-electrode distance 2mm) was introduced through an incision in the right atrial appendage. Series of 10 seconds of AF were analyzed and the incidence of endo-epicardial dissociation (≥15ms) was determined for all 128 endo-epicardial recording sites.
Results: In patients with LsPAF the averaged degree of endo-epicardial dissociation was highest (24.9% vs. 5.9%). Using strict criteria for breakthrough (presence of an opposite wave within 4mm and <15ms before the origin of the focal wave), the far majority (77%) of all focal fibrillation waves could be attributed to endo-epicardial excitation.
Conclusions: During LsPAF considerable differences in activation of the right endo- and epicardial wall exist. Endo-epicardial fibrillation waves that are out of phase, may conduct transmurally and create breakthrough waves in the opposite layer. This may explain the high persistence of AF and the low succes rate of ablative therapies in patients with LsPAF.
Author Disclosures: N. de Groot: None. L. vd Does: None. A. Yaksh: None. P. Knops: None. P. Woestijne: None. C. Kik: None. A. Bogers: None. M. Allessie: None.
- © 2015 by American Heart Association, Inc.