HealthDay News — For patients with atrial fibrillation (AF), transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) is associated with recurrence after catheter ablation, according to a study published online January 27 in the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology.

Hideyuki Kishima, MD, from Hyogo College of Medicine in Nishinomiya, Japan, and colleagues examined the correlation between TGF-β1 level and clinical factors before catheter ablation in a prospective study involving 151 patients (59 with persistent AF, 54 with paroxysmal AF [PAF], and 38 controls). Patients who underwent catheter ablation were followed for 12 months. 

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The researchers found that the PAF group had the highest TGF-β1 levels. Fifty-three percent of patients had early recurrence of AF (defined as episodes of atrial tachyarrhythmia within a three-month blanking period). Thirty-two percent of patients had recurrent AF after the blanking period. Only low TGF-β1 level was an independent factor associated with recurrent AF on multivariate analysis. The low TGF-β1 group (<12.56 ng/mL) had a higher AF recurrence ratio than the high TGF-β1 group (55 versus 24%; P=0.002).

“Paroxysmal AF was associated with a higher TGF-β1 level,” the authors write. “Moreover, lower TGF-β1 level in AF patients could be a cause of recurrent AF after catheter ablation.”

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