Usefulness of Post -Procedural Plasma Brain Natriuretic Peptide Levels to Predict Recurrence After Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation in Patients with Left Ventricular Systolic Dysfunction.
Catheter ablation (CA) of atrial fibrillation (AF) improves cardiac function, resulting in a decrease in plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels in patients with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). This study sought to examine the pre-procedural and post-procedural correlations between BNP levels and cardiac function and the associations between the BNP levels and recurrence after CA in patients with AF and reduced LVEF. Of 3142 consecutive patients who underwent first-time CA of AF at our institute, a total of 217 patients with LVEF <50% were enrolled. Significant decrease in BNP levels (from a median of 198 [interquartile range 113-355] to 47.7 [22.7-135] pg/ml, p<0.001) and improvement in LVEF (from 39±9% to 61±16%, p<0.001) were observed 3 months after CA. There was a linear correlation between log-transformed BNP levels and cardiac measures (LVEF: r=-0.64; LV end-diastolic volume: r=0.25; LV end-systolic volume: r=0.43; left atrial volume: r=0.52; all p<0.001). During a median follow-up of 35 months, AF recurrence after a 3-month blanking period was observed in 80 patients (37%). Cox proportional hazard regression analysis after adjustment for cardiac measures significant in univariate analysis revealed that early recurrence within the blanking period (hazard ratio, 4.88; 95% confidence interval, 2.89-8.25) and elevated post-procedural BNP levels (2.02 per unit log increase; 1.14-3.56) were significant predictors of AF recurrence, but pre-procedural BNP was not. In conclusion, post-procedural BNP levels at the end of the blanking period predicted subsequent AF recurrence in patients with reduced LVEF, independent of early recurrence.