Ventricular Myocardial Function and Central Hemodynamics in Patients with Secondary Atrial Septal Defect and Persistent or Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation

Keywords: congenital heart disease, tachyarrhythmia, echocardiography, transesophageal echocardiography, speckle tracking, tissue Doppler, preload indices, right heart chambers, intervention prognosis


Background. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the world’s most frequent arrhythmia associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Non-invasive multimodal imaging provides all necessary information for tactical decisions about radiofrequency catheter ablation and other methods of pharmacological and invasive AF treatment. Survival of patients with congenital heart diseases (CHDs) has grown over the past years. Still, there is a significant gap in evidence-based data regarding management of such patients with AF. Previously in Ukraine there were no studies of echocardiography parameters in patients with CHDs with paroxysmal or persistent AF, namely, those to find predictors for successful AF treatment before atrial septal defect (ASD) surgical or percutaneous closure.

The aim. To evaluate ventricular myocardial function and central hemodynamics in patients with secondary ASD and paroxysmal or persistent AF compared to patients with paroxysmal or persistent AF without CHD.

Methods. Weexamined54patients(36[66.7%]menand18[33.3%]women)aged61.4±9.8yearswithsecondaryASDand paroxysmal or persistent AF. Control group included 56 patients (38 [67.9%] men and 18 [32.1%] women) without CHD with non-valvular paroxysmal or persistent AF. All the patients underwent transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography with tissue Doppler imaging and speckle-tracking echocardiography for longitudinal myocardial strain evaluation.

Results. The patients in the study and control groups were comparable in terms of age and gender as well as comorbidities and cardiovascular risk factors. There were significant differences in the left heart remodeling indices and central hemodynamics alteration grades, for instance, the patients of the study group had significantly higher grade of left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy. Patients with ASD also had significantly more dilated LV and left atrium (LA) cavities and higher combined indices of LV filling pressure – E/E’ (14.9±4.2 vs. 9.6±5.3, p<0.0001) and E/Vp (2.84±0.44 vs. 2.25±0.61, p<0.0001), explaining more frequent AF in patients with ASD. The study group patients also had significantly higher systolic (sPAP) (52.4±2.8 vs. 44.6±3.2, p<0.0001) and mean (mPAP) (38.6±4.3 vs. 31.7±1.9, p<0.0001) pulmonary artery pressure compared to control group, as well as significantly worse all known indices of right ventricle (RV) myocardial function and right chambers overload. Global RV longitudinal strain strongly correlated with RV fractional area change (r = 0.75; p<0.0001), and especially highly with tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (r = 0.97; p<0.0001) and tricuspid annular peak systolic velocity S’ (r = 0.98; p<0.0001) during tissue Doppler imaging, making it trustworthy and valuable predictor of RV myocardial dysfunction and its potential restoration after defect correction. Patients with ASD much more often had significant moderate-to-severe functional tricuspid regurgitation (92.6% vs. 53.4%, p<0.0001) with significantly higher central venous pressure indices (16.4±2.4 vs. 10.2±2.5, p<0.0001) as per significantly wider inferior vena cava (IVC) (1.89±0.31 vs. 1.43±0.42, p<0.0001) and it’s higher inspiratory collapse. IVC diameter strongly correlated with integral RV filling pressure (that is, right atrial pressure) index E/E’ (r = 0.98; p<0.0001). Also, study group demonstrated significantly more frequent LA appendage thrombosis (40.7% vs. 21.4%, p=0.029) along with much more marked spontaneous contrast phenomenon and lower LA appendage expulsion rate (26.7±5.1 vs. 34.3±7.2, p<0.0001).

Conclusions. Stratification of patients with ASD complicated by paroxysmal or persistent AF for radiofrequency catheter ablation requires thorough echocardiographic examination with targeted certain indices evaluation aiming at earlier intervention in order to earlier diagnosis and invasive or surgical treatment in this specific patient group, namely LV hypertrophy grade, left chambers dilation with LV global systolic function evaluation, pulmonary hypertension grade as per sPAP and mPAP evaluation, as well as combined right chambers overload grade indices, including RV myocardial function by all methods including speckle-tracking echocardiography.


  1. Calkins H, Hindricks G, Cappato R, Kim YH, Saad EB, Aguinaga L, et al. 2017 HRS/EHRA/ECAS/APHRS/ SOLAECE expert consensus statement on catheter and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation: executive summary. Europace. 2018;20(1):157-208.
  2. Benjamin EJ, Muntner P, Alonso A, Bittencourt MS, Callaway CW, Carson AP, et al.; American Heart Association Council on Epidemiology and Prevention Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics – 2019 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2019;139(10):e56-e528.
  3. Chugh SS, Havmoeller R, Narayanan K, Singh D, Rienstra M, Benjamin EJ, Gillum RF, Kim YH, McAnulty JH Jr, Zheng ZJ, Forouzanfar MH, Naghavi M, Mensah GA, Ezzati M, Murray CJ. Worldwide epidemiology of atrial fibrillation: a Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study. Circulation. 2014;129(8):837-47.
  4. Colilla S, Crow A, Petkun W, Singer DE, Simon T, Liu X. Estimates of current and future incidence and prevalence of atrial fibrillation in the U.S. adult population. Am J Cardiol. 2013;112(8):1142-7.
  5. Krijthe BP, Kunst A, Benjamin EJ, Lip GY, Franco OH, Hofman A, Witteman JC, Stricker BH, Heeringa J. Projections on the number of individuals with atrial fibrillation in the European Union, from 2000 to 2060. Eur Heart J. 2013;34(35):2746-51.
  6. Staerk L, Sherer JA, Ko D, Benjamin EJ, Helm RH. Atrial fibrillation: epidemiology, pathophysiology, and clinical outcomes. Circ Res. 2017;120(9):1501-17.
  7. Boriani G, Savelieva I, Dan GA, Deharo JC, Ferro C, Israel CW, Lane DA, La Manna G, Morton J, Mitjans AM, Vos MA, Turakhia MP, Lip GY. Chronic kidney disease in patients with cardiac rhythm disturbances or implantable electrical devices: clinical significance and implications for decision making – a position paper of the European Heart Rhythm Association endorsed by the Heart Rhythm Society and the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society. Europace. 2015;17(8):1169-96.
  8. Aune D, Feng T, Schlesinger S, Janszky I, Norat T, Riboli E. Diabetes mellitus, blood glucose and the risk of atrial fibrillation: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies. J Diabetes Complications. 2018;32(5):501-11.
  9. Lip GYH, Coca A, Kahan T, Boriani G, Manolis AS, Olsen MH, Oto A, Potpara TS, Steffel J, Marín F, de Oliveira Figueiredo MJ, de Simone G, Tzou WS, Chiang CE, Williams B; Reviewers:, Dan GA, Gorenek B, Fauchier L, Savelieva I, Hatala R, van Gelder I, Brguljan-Hitij J, Erdine S, Lovic D, Kim YH, Salinas-Arce J, Field M. Hypertension and cardiac arrhythmias: a consensus document from the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) and ESC Council on Hypertension, endorsed by the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), Asia-Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS) and Sociedad Latinoamericana de Estimulacion Cardiaca y Electrofisiologia (SOLEACE). Europace. 2017;19(6):891-911.
  10. Gallagher C, Hendriks JML, Elliott AD, Wong CX, Rangnekar G, Middeldorp ME, Mahajan R, Lau DH, Sanders P. Alcohol and incident atrial fibrillation – a systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Cardiol. 2017;246:46-52.
  11. Ricci C, Gervasi F, Gaeta M, Smuts CM, Schutte AE, Leitzmann MF. Physical activity volume in relation to risk of atrial fibrillation. A non-linear meta-regression analysis. Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2018;25(8):857-66.
  12. Charitos EI, Stierle U, Ziegler PD, Baldewig M, Robinson DR, Sievers HH, Hanke T. A comprehensive evaluation of rhythm monitoring strategies for the detection of atrial fibrillation recurrence: insights from 647 continuously monitored patients and implications for monitoring after therapeutic interventions. Circulation. 2012;126(7):806-14.
  13. Allan V, Honarbakhsh S, Casas JP, Wallace J, Hunter R, Schilling R, Perel P, Morley K, Banerjee A, Hemingway H. Are cardiovascular risk factors also associated with the incidence of atrial fibrillation? A systematic review and field synopsis of 23 factors in 32 population-based cohorts of 20 million participants. Thromb Haemost. 2017;117(5):837-50.
  14. Feghaly J, Zakka P, London B, MacRae CA, Refaat MM. Genetics of atrial fibrillation. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018;7(20):e009884.
  15. Donal E, Lip GY, Galderisi M, Goette A, Shah D, Marwan M, et al. EACVI/EHRA Expert Consensus Document on the role of multi-modality imaging for the evaluation of patients with atrial fibrillation. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2016;17(4):355-83.
  16. Delgado V, Di Biase L, Leung M, Romero J, Tops LF, Casadei B, Marrouche N, Bax JJ. Structure and function of the left atrium and left atrial appendage: AF and stroke implications. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;70(25):3157-72.
  17. Oakes RS, Badger TJ, Kholmovski EG, Akoum N, Burgon NS, Fish EN, Blauer JJ, Rao SN, DiBella EV, Segerson NM, Daccarett M, Windfelder J, McGann CJ, Parker D, MacLeod RS, Marrouche NF. Detection and quantification of left atrial structural remodeling with delayed-enhancement magnetic resonance imaging in patients with atrial fibrillation. Circulation. 2009;119(13):1758-67.
  18. Cameli M, Lisi M, Righini FM, Massoni A, Natali BM, Focardi M, Tacchini D, Geyer A, Curci V, Di Tommaso C, Lisi G, Maccherini M, Chiavarelli M, Massetti M, Tanganelli P, Mondillo S. Usefulness of atrial deformation analysis to predict left atrial fibrosis and endocardial thickness in patients undergoing mitral valve operations for severe mitral regurgitation secondary to mitral valve prolapse. Am J Cardiol. 2013;111(4):595-601.
  19. Eikelboom JW, Connolly SJ, Brueckmann M, Granger CB, Kappetein AP, Mack MJ, Blatchford J, Devenny K, Friedman J, Guiver K, Harper R, Khder Y, Lobmeyer MT, Maas H, Voigt JU, Simoons ML, Van de Werf F; RE-ALIGN Investigators. Dabigatran versus warfarin in patients with mechanical heart valves. N Engl J Med. 2013;369(13):1206-14.
  20. Renda G, Ricci F, Giugliano RP, De Caterina R. Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2017;69(11):1363-71.
  21. Caldeira D, David C, Costa J, Ferreira JJ, Pinto FJ. Non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants in patients with atrial fibrillation and valvular heart disease: systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Pharmacother. 2018;4(2):111-8.
  22. Jacobs V, May HT, Bair TL, Crandall BG, Cutler MJ, Day JD, Mallender C, Osborn JS, Stevens SM, Weiss JP, Woller SC, Bunch TJ. Long-term population-based cerebral ischemic event and cognitive outcomes of direct oral anticoagulants compared with warfarin among long-term anticoagulated patients for atrial fibrillation. Am J Cardiol. 2016;118(2):210-4.
  23. Feltes TF, Friedman RA. Transesophageal echocardiographic detection of atrial thrombi in patients with nonfibrillation atrial tachyarrhythmias and congenital heart disease. J Am Coll Cardiol. 1994;24(5):1365-70.
  24. Roos-Hesselink JW, Meijboom FJ, Spitaels SE, van Domburg R, van Rijen EH, Utens EM, Bogers AJ, Simoons ML. Excellent survival and low incidence of arrhythmias, stroke and heart failure long-term after surgical ASD closure at young age. A prospective follow-up study of 21-33 years. Eur Heart J. 2003;24(2):190-7.
  25. Gutierrez SD, Earing MG, Singh AK, Tweddell JS, Bartz PJ. Atrial tachyarrhythmias and the Cox-maze procedure in congenital heart disease. Congenit Heart Dis. 2013;8(5):434-9.
  26. Sherwin ED, Triedman JK, Walsh EP. Update on interventional electrophysiology in congenital heart disease: evolving solutions for complex hearts. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2013;6(5):1032-40.
  27. Lang RM, Badano LP, Mor-Avi V, Afilalo J, Armstrong A, Ernande L, Flachskampf FA, Foster E, Goldstein SA, Kuznetsova T, Lancellotti P, Muraru D, Picard MH, Rietzschel ER, Rudski L, Spencer KT, Tsang W, Voigt JU. Recommendations for Cardiac Chamber Quantification by Echocardiography in Adults: An Update from the American Society of Echocardiography and the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2015;28(1):1-39.e14.
  28. Rudski LG, Lai WW, Afilalo J, Hua L, Handschumacher MD, Chandrasekaran K, Solomon SD, Louie EK, Schiller NB. Guidelines for the Echocardiographic Assessment of the Right Heart in Adults: A Report from the American Society of Echocardiography Endorsed by the European Association of Echocardiography, a registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology, and the Canadian Society of Echocardiography. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 2010;23(7):685-713.
How to Cite
Petkanych, M. M., Potashev, S. V., Bankovska, N. V., & Lazoryshynets, V. V. (2022). Ventricular Myocardial Function and Central Hemodynamics in Patients with Secondary Atrial Septal Defect and Persistent or Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation. Ukrainian Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery, 30(1), 49-58.