Relationship between left atrial strain, diastolic dysfunction and subclinical atrial fibrillation in patients with cryptogenic stroke: the SURPRISE echo substudy
Krieger, Derk W.
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Abstract: Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) may be the cause of a substantial part of cryptogenic strokes (CS). Echocardiography could assist risk stratification for PAF to select patients in need of prolonged rhythm monitoring. We aimed to assess the value of left atrial (LA) strain and a revised diastolic dysfunction (DDF) model with LA strain for predicting PAF. This was a prospective study of 56 CS patients who had a cardiac monitor implanted for 3 year monitoring for PAF, and an echocardiogram performed prior to monitoring. Conventional echocardiography, global longitudinal strain (GLS) and LA strain were performed. LA speckle tracking provided the LA reservoir strain (LAs). Patients were stratified into high versus low LAs by ROC curves (28.2%), and this cut-off was used to refine DDF grading. During follow-up of median 20 months, 13 (23%) patients were diagnosed with PAF. No conventional echocardiographic parameters differed between patients who developed PAF and those without PAF. However, LAs was significantly impaired in PAF patients (LAs: 30 vs. 27% for non-PAF and PAF, p = 0.046). Low LAs significantly predicted PAF independent of LA volume and GLS [OR 5.88 (1.30; 26.55), p = 0.021]. Revised DDF grading significantly predicted PAF, even when adjusted for the CHADS2 risk-score (OR 1.88 [1.01;3.50], per increase in DDF grade, p for trend = 0.047), which was not the case for conventional DDF grading. In conclusion, LAs associates with PAF independent of GLS and LA size, and may be used to improve the performance of DDF grading for identifying PAF in CS patients.