Early-onset atrial fibrillation patients show reduced left ventricular ejection fraction and increased atrial fibrosis

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) has traditionally been considered an electrical heart disease. However, genetic studies have revealed that the structural architecture of the heart also play a significant role. We evaluated the functional and structural consequences of harboring a titin-truncating variant (TTNtv) in AF patients, using cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). Seventeen early-onset AF cases carrying a TTNtv, were matched 1:1 with non-AF controls and a replication cohort of early-onset AF cases without TTNtv, and underwent CMR. Cardiac volumes and left atrial late gadolinium enhancement (LA LGE), as a fibrosis proxy, were measured by a blinded operator. Results: AF cases with TTNtv had significantly reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) compared with controls (57 ± 4 vs 64 ± 5%, P < 0.001). We obtained similar findings in early-onset AF patients without TTNtv compared with controls (61 ± 4 vs 64 ± 5%, P = 0.02). We furthermore found a statistically significant increase in LA LGE when comparing early-onset AF TTNtv cases with controls. Using state-of-the-art CMR, we found that early-onset AF patients, irrespective of TTNtv carrier status, had reduced LVEF, indicating that early-onset AF might not be as benign as previously thought.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10039
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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