Europace : European pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac electrophysiology : journal of the working groups on cardiac pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac cellular electrophysiology of the European Society of Cardiology

M2-muscarinic acetylcholine receptor autoantibody levels predict left atrial fibrosis severity in paroxysmal lone atrial fibrillation patients undergoing cryoablation.

PMID 25238749


Atrial fibrosis has been found to be associated with recurrent atrial fibrillation (AF) following catheter ablation. Autoantibodies against M2-muscarinic receptors (anti-M2-R) may play a role in the development of AF by inducing left atrial (LA) fibrosis. In this study, we aim to compare anti-M2-R levels between paroxysmal lone AF patients and healthy control subjects and to investigate the relationship between pre-ablation anti-M2-R level, LA fibrosis quantified by delayed enhancement magnetic resonance imaging (DE-MRI), and AF recurrence following cryoablation. Thirty-one patients with paroxysmal lone AF (53.4 ± 8.0 years, 61% male), who underwent cryoballoon-based ablation, along with 31 healthy control subjects were included. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests to measure serum anti-M2-R levels were performed in both groups and DE-MRI was done to quantify LA fibrosis prior to the ablation in the patients. Anti-M2-R levels were higher in the study population when compared with control subjects [212.4 (103.2-655.5) vs. 73.0 (39.5-299.1) ng/mL, P < 0.001]. Anti-M2-R level predicted moderate-extensive LA fibrosis independent of other measures [odds ratio: 1.26 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04-1.53), P = 0.017]. At a mean follow-up of 35.2 ± 3.5 months, nine patients (29.0%) had AF recurrence. In the Cox regression model including pre-ablation anti-M2-R level, LA diameter, LA volume index, and moderate-extensive LA fibrosis, only moderate-extensive LA fibrosis predicted late AF recurrence independent of other measures [hazard ratio: 29.41 (95% CI: 3.52-250.00), P = 0.002]. Serum anti-M2-R levels may be associated with the severity of LA fibrosis and may be implicated in the pathophysiology of AF recurrence following cryoablation. Detection of anti-M2-R levels may help select appropriate patients for the procedure.