Background: The presence of atrial fibrillation (AF) is related to increased levels of natriuretic peptides. In addition, increased natriuretic peptide levels are predictive of the development of AF. However, the role of natriuretic peptides to predict recurrence of AF after radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) is controversial. Objective: The study aimed to investigate the role of natriuretic peptides in the prediction of AF recurrence after RFCA for AF. Methods: Pre-procedural amino-terminal pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (NT-proANP) and amino-terminal-pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) plasma levels were determined in 87 patients undergoing RFCA for symptomatic drug-refractory AF. In addition, a comprehensive clinical and echocardiographic evaluation was performed at baseline. Left atrial volumes, left ventricular volumes, and function (systolic and diastolic) were assessed. During a 6-month follow-up period, AF recurrence was monitored and defined as any registration of AF on electrocardiogram or an episode of AF longer than 30 seconds on 24-hour Holter monitoring. The role of natriuretic peptide plasma levels to predict AF recurrence after RFCA was studied. Results: During follow-up, 66 patients (76%) maintained sinus rhythm, whereas 21 patients (24%) had AF recurrence. Patients with AF recurrence had higher baseline natriuretic peptide levels than patients who maintained sinus rhythm (NT-proANP 3.19 nmol/L [2.55-4.28] vs 2.52 nmol/L [1.69-3.55], P = .030; NT-proBNP 156.4 pg/mL [64.1-345.3] vs 84.6 pg/mL [43.3-142.7], P = .036). However, NT-proBNP was an independent predictor of AF recurrence, whereas NT-proANP was not. Moreover, NT-proBNP had an incremental value over echocardiographic characteristics to predict AF recurrence after RFCA. Conclusion: Baseline NT-proBNP plasma level is an independent predictor of AF recurrence after RFCA.

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American Heart Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

den Uijl, D., Delgado, V., Tops, L., Ng, A., Boersma, E., Trines, S., … Bax, J. (2011). Natriuretic peptide levels predict recurrence of atrial fibrillation after radiofrequency catheter ablation. American Heart Journal, 161(1), 197–203. doi:10.1016/j.ahj.2010.09.031