Increased amount of atrial fibrosis in patients with atrial fibrillation secondary to mitral valve disease

Guillaume S.C. Geuzebroek*, Shirley C.M. Van Amersfoorth, Mark G. Hoogendijk, Johannes C. Kelder, Norbert M. Van Hemel, Jacques M.T. De Bakker, Ruben Coronel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: Atrial fibrosis is related to atrial fibrillation but may differ in patients with mitral valve disease or lone atrial fibrillation. Therefore, we studied atrial fibrosis in patients with atrial fibrillation + mitral valve disease or with lone atrial fibrillation and compared it with controls. Methods: Left and right atrial appendages amputated during Maze III surgery for lone atrial fibrillation (n = 85) or atrial fibrillation + mitral valve disease (n = 26) were embedded in paraffin, sectioned, and stained with picrosirius red. Atria from 10 deceased patients without a cardiovascular history served as controls. A total of 1048 images (4-μm sections, 10-fold magnification, 4 images per appendage) were obtained and digitized. The percentage of fibrous tissue was calculated by quantitative morphometry. Results: Irrespective of the presence or absence of atrial fibrillation or mitral valve disease, more fibrous tissue was present in right atrial appendages than in left atrial appendages (12.7% ± 5.7% vs 8.2% ± 3.9%; P < .0001). The mean amount of fibrous tissue in the atria was significantly larger in patients with atrial fibrillation + mitral valve disease than in patients with lone AF and controls (13.6% ± 5.8%, 9.7% ± 3.2%, and 8.8% ± 2.4%, respectively; P < .01). No significant differences existed between patients with lone atrial fibrillation and patients without a cardiovascular history (controls). Conclusions: Atria of patients with atrial fibrillation and mitral valve disease have more fibrosis than atria of patients with lone atrial fibrillation. However, patients with lone atrial fibrillation have an equal amount of atrial fibrosis compared with controls. These findings support the notion that fibrosis plays a more important role in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation secondary to mitral valve disease than in lone atrial fibrillation and potentially explains the relatively poor success of antiarrhythmic surgery in patients with mitral valve disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-333
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Volume144
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

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