Aims: This study investigated the potential association between homocysteine levels and cardiovascular events or atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence following radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA) in patients with AF.
Methods and results: Blood samples were obtained prior to the RFCA procedure. Levels of homocysteine and carboxy-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I (CITP), a collagen type I degradation marker, were measured in 96 patients receiving RFCA; 62 paroxysmal or persistent AF patients and 34 paroxysmal supra-ventricular tachycardia patients. Patients were followed up for 2.1 +/- 1.5 years. Plasma homocysteine levels were significantly higher in patients with persistent AF (P < 0.05) compared with levels in paroxysmal AF and control patients. Homocysteine levels also positively correlated with left atrial dimension (LAD) (P < 0.01) and CITP levels (P < 0.001). While no significant correlation was found between basal homocysteine levels and recurrent AF after RFCA in AF patients, patients in the high homocysteine group exhibited a significantly higher rate of cardiovascular events without AF recurrence compared with those in the low homocysteine group (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: High homocysteine levels are associated with the presence of persistent AF, which is accompanied by increased CITP levels and LAD. Also confirmed is the role of homocysteine as a risk factor for the pathogenesis of cardiovascular events after RFCA in AF patients. Measurement of homocysteine level may provide useful information for the managing cardiovascular risk in patients with AF.