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Natriuretic Propeptides as Markers of Atrial Fibrillation Burden and Recurrence (from the AMIO-CAT Trial)

      Natriuretic peptides are established plasma markers of systolic heart failure, but their usefulness for the evaluation of atrial fibrillation (AF) is unknown. We examined mid-regional pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (MR-proANP) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in patients undergoing ablation for AF. A subpopulation of 102 patients (median age 60 [52;65], 82% male) from the AMIO-CAT trial (Recurrence of arrhythmia following short-term oral AMIOdarone after CATheter ablation for atrial fibrillation: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study) undergoing ablation for paroxysmal (n = 55) or persistent (n = 47) AF was studied. MR-proANP and NT-proBNP were measured before ablation and at 1, 3, and 6 months' follow-up. Three-day Holter monitoring was performed before ablation, and 6 to 8 weeks and 6 months after ablation. Plasma MR-proANP and NT-proBNP concentrations were higher during AF than during sinus rhythm before ablation (188 pmol/L [131;260] vs 94 pmol/L [64;125], p <0.001; 78 pmol/L [43;121] vs 10.3 pmol/L [5.9;121], p <0.001) and at 1, 3, and 6 months' follow-up. Categories of AF burden on 3-day Holter monitoring (0%, 0% to 99%, and 99% to 100%) were associated with plasma concentrations of both MR-proANP (94 pmol/L [55;127] vs 117 pmol/L [88;185] vs 192 pmol/L [127;261], p <0.001) and NT-proBNP (10 pmol/L [5.9;22] vs 22 pmol/L [8.9;53] vs 81 pmol/L [45;116], p <0.001). In a multivariate regression analysis, however, there was no significant association between baseline propeptide concentrations and recurrence of AF at 6 months' follow-up. In conclusion, AF was associated with higher plasma concentrations of MR-proANP and NT-proBNP than sinus rhythm. Moreover, AF burden was associated with subsequent concentrations of both MR-proANP and NT-proBNP. The results suggest that natriuretic propeptide measurement reflects functional cardiac dysfunction during AF, and that AF burden should be included in biochemical assessment of left ventricular dysfunction.
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