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Effects of Chronic Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Supplementation on Human Pulmonary Vein and Left Atrial Electrophysiology in Paroxysmal Atrial Fibrillation

      Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in fish oils may have antifibrillatory effects; however, their electrophysiologic effects in paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) remain unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic fish oil supplementation on human pulmonary vein (PV) and left atrial electrophysiology in PAF. Patients with PAF undergoing PV isolation were randomized ≥1 month before their procedure into a control group (n = 18) or a fish oil group (n = 18) in an unblinded fashion. The latter were supplemented with fish oil 6 g/day for a mean of 40 ± 12 days. Pulmonary venous and left atrial effective refractory periods (ERPs), PV conduction, and susceptibility to AF initiated within PVs were assessed. Compared to the control group, the fish oil group had (1) longer left-sided (p = 0.002) and right-sided (p = 0.001) pulmonary venous ERPs; (2) less dispersion of pulmonary venous ERPs (left PVs p = 0.001, right PVs p = 0.07); (3) longer left atrial ERPs (p = 0.02); (4) no difference in pulmonary venous conduction; (5) lower incidence of AF initiated from PVs during ERP testing (77% vs 31%, p = 0.02); and (6) prolongation of mean AF cycle length (p = 0.009) and shortest AF cycle length in PVs (p = 0.04). In conclusion, patients with PAF chronically supplemented with fish oils exhibit distinctive electrophysiologic properties including prolonged pulmonary venous and left atrial ERPs and decreased susceptibility to initiation AF from within PVs. These changes may in part explain the antifibrillatory effect of chronic omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in patients with PAF.
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