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C reactive protein concentration and recurrence of atrial fibrillation after electrical cardioversion
  1. O Wazni,
  2. D O Martin,
  3. N F Marrouche,
  4. M Shaaraoui,
  5. M K Chung,
  6. S Almahameed,
  7. R A Schweikert,
  8. W I Saliba,
  9. A Natale
  1. The Center for Atrial Fibrillation, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Andrea Natale
    Center for Atrial Fibrillation, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Desk F 15, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195, USA;


Background: To test the hypothesis that a high C reactive protein (CRP) concentration would predict recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF) after cardioversion in patients taking antiarrhythmic drugs.

Methods: 111 patients who underwent direct current cardioversion for symptomatic AF were enrolled. Blood was drawn for CRP determination before cardioversion on the same day. All patients were taking antiarrhythmic drugs before and after electrical cardioversion.

Results: After a mean follow up of 76 days, 75 patients had recurrence of AF. In univariate analysis, the median CRP concentration was significantly higher in patients with AF recurrence (3.95 mg/l v 1.81 mg/l, p  =  0.002). Among the 55 patients with CRP in the upper 50th centile, 44 (80%) experienced recurrence of AF over a total follow up of 8.98 patient years, whereas among the 56 patients with CRP in the lower 50th centile, 31 (55%) experienced recurrence of AF over a total follow up of 14.3 patient years (p < 0.001). The adjusted hazard ratio comparing the upper 50th centile of CRP with the lower 50th centile of CRP was 2.0 (95% confidence interval 1.2 to 3.2, p  =  0.007).

Conclusions: CRP is independently associated with recurrence of AF after electrical cardioversion among patients taking antiarrhythmic drugs. These results suggest that inflammation may have a role in the pathogenesis of AF resistant to antiarrhythmic drugs.

  • AF, atrial fibrillation
  • CI, confidence interval
  • CRP, C reactive protein
  • atrial fibrillation
  • C reactive protein
  • cardioversion
  • recurrence

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  • Published Online First 12 May 2005