Impact of Atrial Fibrillation on the Symptoms and Echocardiographic Evaluation of Patients With Aortic Stenosis

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Atrial fibrillation (AF) is common in patients with aortic stenosis (AS) and complicates the assessment of AS severity. The overlapping of symptoms in these 2 conditions may postpone valve replacement. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of AF on the severity assessment of AS and its impact on symptoms and quality of life (QoL). Patients with severe AS were prospectively recruited. Echocardiography, symptom questionnaires, and RAND-36 QoL assessment were performed preoperatively and 3 months postoperatively. The aortic valve calcium score (AVC) was measured using computed tomography. Of the 279 patients, 74 (26.5%) had AF. Patients with AF had lower mean gradients and 45.9% had a low-gradient phenotype, with a mean gradient <40 mm Hg, compared with 22.4% of those without AF (p <0.001). The AVC measurements revealed severe valve calcification equally in patients with or without AF (85.7% vs 87.7%, p = 0.78). Patients with AF were more symptomatic at baseline, with 50.0% versus 27.3% in New York Heart Association class III or higher (p <0.001), and after intervention. Patients with AF had more residual dyspnea (27.3% vs 12.0%, p = 0.007) and exercise intolerance (36.4% vs 17.0%, p = 0.002). The QoL improved significantly in both groups but was worse at baseline in patients with AF and remained impaired after intervention. In conclusion, low-gradient AS phenotype is overrepresented in patients with AF, but they have equally severe stenosis determined using AVC, despite the lower gradients. Patients with AF have more symptoms and worse QoL, but they improve significantly after intervention. In patients with AF, multimodality imaging is important in the assessment of AS severity.

TidskriftAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Sidor (från-till)122-129
Antal sidor8
StatusPublicerad - 15 jan. 2024
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad

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