Predictors of long-term outcomes in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation undergoing electrical cardioversion

J Cardiovasc Thorac Res. 2024;16(1):21-27. doi: 10.34172/jcvtr.32913. Epub 2024 Mar 13.


Introduction: Cardioversion for atrial fibrillation (AF) is routinely implemented in daily practice; however, it can be associated with the development of recurrent AF. In this study we aimed to evaluate the predictors of AF recurrence after electrical cardioversion, and to compare the outcomes of patients with or without AF recurrence during follow-up.

Methods: Patients with persistent AF were enrolled from March 2015 to September 2018. Patients with recurrent AF within 6 months after the index cardioversion were considered as AF recurrence (AFR) group, and those with normal sinus rhythm were defined as normal sinus rhythm (NSR) group. Thereafter, all patients were followed up for the incidence of adverse events, including death, requiring dialysis, coronary artery intervention/surgeries, cerebrovascular events, heart failure, and recurrent AF beyond 6 months.

Results: Of 129 patients, 11 patients had failed cardioversion and 7 patients lost to follow-up. So, 34 and 77 patients were categorized as the NSR and the AFR groups. During a median follow-up time of 54 (46-75) months, there was a trend for a higher incidence of major adverse events in the AFR group compared to the NSR group (P=0.063). Lower body mass index (odds ratio [OR] 0.885, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.794-0.986, P=0.027) and coarse AF before the index cardioversion (OR 3.846, 95% CI 1.189-12.443, P=0.025) were the independent predictors of recurrent AF.

Conclusion: In patients with persistent AF undergoing cardioversion, the presence of coarse AF and the lower values of body mass index were found to be associated with the AF recurrence.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Body mass index; Cardioversion; Coarse atrial fibrillation; Prognosis.