Predictors and prognostic significance of atrial fibrillation developed during dobutamine stress echocardiography: A propensity score-matched comparison

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Aims: Atrial fibrillation (AF) uncommonly occurs during dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE). We aimed to characterize the predictors and long-term prognostic significance of AF during DSE. Methods: The clinical, echocardiographic, and outcome data of patients in sinus rhythm who developed AF during DSE were reviewed and compared to a propensity score-matched group of controls. Results: Atrial fibrillation developed in 73 (1% of 7026) patients (age 70±10 years, 58% men). Compared to 144 propensity score-matched controls without AF during DSE, those with AF were more likely to have had history of prior AF (23% vs 8%, P=.002), known coronary artery disease (CAD; 22% vs 10%, P=.037), enlarged left ventricle (LV; 27% vs 9%, P=.002), LV wall-motion abnormality (33% vs 12%, P<.0001), enlarged aortic root (22% vs 8%, P=.009), or dilated left atrium (52% vs 30%, P=.002). Multivariate logistic regression analysis identified prior history of AF (OR=3.7, 95% CI 1.5–9.0, P=.005), larger LV size (OR=3.1, 95% CI 1.3–7.3, P=.009), and lower LV ejection fraction (OR=−0.95, 95% CI −0.92 to −0.99, P=.02) as independent predictors of AF during DSE. At a mean follow-up period of 3.4 (0.5-7.3) years, those with AF during DSE were more likely to develop new coronary events (22% vs 10%, P=.0372), new-onset heart failure (19% vs 4%, P=.0003), or die from any cause (27% vs 6%, P<.0001). Kaplan-Meier curves demonstrated significantly lower event-free survival in patients compared to controls (P by log-rank test=.001) over the follow-up period. Conclusion: Dobutamine-induced AF occurs more commonly in those with prior history of AF and remodeled LV and is associated with unfavorable outcomes.

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