Objective: To determine the frequency of tachycardia-related cardiomyopathy in patients with atrial fibrillation and systolic dysfunction referred for atrioventricular node ablation. Patients and Methods: This prospective multicenter cohort study was conducted at 16 tertiary care centers. The ejection fraction was measured before and 3 and 12 months after atrioventricular node ablation. Patients with reduced systolic function (ejection fraction ≤45%) before atrioventricular ablation were included in this study. Patients whose ejection fraction increased by at least 15 percentage points and to higher than 45% were considered to have tachycardia-related cardiomyopathy. Results: Of 63 patients with systolic dysfunction, 48 had at least 1 adequate follow-up echocardiographic study. Sixteen (25%) of the 63 had marked improvement in the ejection fraction (mean ± SD change, 27±8 percentage points) to a value higher than 45% after ablation. Conclusions: Tachycardia-related cardlomyopathy is common in patients with atrial fibrillation and systolic dysfunction referred for atrioventricular node ablation. This diagnosis should be considered in all patients in whom systolic dysfunction occurs subsequent to or concomitant with onset of atrial fibrillation.
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