Gender Differences in Atrial Fibrosis and Cardiomyopathy Assessed by Left Atrial Low-Voltage Areas During Catheter Ablation of Atrial Fibrillation

Am J Cardiol. 2023 Sep 15;203:37-44. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2023.07.001. Epub 2023 Jul 21.


Atrial myocardial degeneration predisposes to atrial fibrillation (AF), ischemic stroke, and heart failure. Studies suggest the presence of gender differences in atrial myocardial degeneration. This study aimed to delineate gender differences in the prevalence, predictors, and prognostic impact of left atrial low-voltage areas (LVAs). This observational study included 1,488 consecutive patients who underwent initial ablation for AF. Voltage mapping was performed after pulmonary vein isolation during sinus rhythm. LVAs were defined as regions where bipolar peak-to-peak voltage was <0.50 mV. LVA prevalence was higher in women (38.7%) than in men (16.0%). High age, persistent form of AF, diabetes mellitus, and a large left atrium were shown to be common predictors in both gender categories. Heart failure and history of stroke/thromboembolic events were men-specific predictors of LVA existence. Women experienced more AF recurrence than men (31.1% vs 25.7%, p = 0.027). LVA existence was significantly associated with increased AF recurrence in each gender category, with a respective hazard ratio, 95% confidence interval, and p value of 2.45, 1.87 to 3.22, and <0.0001 in men and 1.82, 1.33 to 2.49, and <0.0001 in women. In conclusion, LVA was more frequent in women than men, and predicted frequent AF recurrence irrespective of gender category.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Atrial Fibrillation* / epidemiology
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / surgery
  • Cardiomyopathies*
  • Catheter Ablation*
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Heart Atria
  • Heart Failure*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Veins* / surgery
  • Recurrence
  • Sex Factors
  • Treatment Outcome