Objectives: This study sought to investigate the association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and arrhythmia recurrence following atrial fibrillation ablation; and to examine the impact of NAFLD stage on outcomes. Background: Metabolic derangements, including obesity and diabetes, are associated with incident and recurrent atrial fibrillation (AF), in addition to the development of NAFLD. Methods: This was a retrospective study of 267 consecutive patients undergoing AF ablation, 89 of whom were diagnosed with NAFLD prior to ablation and matched in a 2:1 manner based on age, sex, body mass index, ejection fraction, and AF type with 178 patients without NAFLD. Patients were monitored for arrhythmia recurrence during a mean follow-up of 29 months. Results: Recurrent arrhythmia was observed in 50 (56%) patients with NAFLD compared with 37 (21%) without NAFLD. Epicardial fat volume was measured on computed tomography and was significantly higher among those with NAFLD (248 ± 125 ml vs. 223 ± 97 ml; p = 0.01). On multivariable models adjusting for sleep apnea, body mass index, heart failure, AF type, and left atrial size, NAFLD was independently associated with increased rates of arrhythmia recurrence (hazard ratio: 3.010; 95% confidence interval: 1.980 to 4.680; p < 0.0001). Conclusions: NAFLD is associated with significantly increased arrhythmia recurrence rates following AF ablation. Identification and reversal, where possible, may result in improved arrhythmia-free survival.
- atrial fibrillation ablation
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
- risk factor modification
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Physiology (medical)