Intra-cardiac and peripheral levels of biochemical markers of fibrosis in patients undergoing catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation

Gordon A Begg, Rashed Karim, Tobias Oesterlein, Lee N Graham, Andrew J Hogarth, Stephen P Page, Christopher B Pepper, Kawal Rhode, Gregory Y H Lip, Arun V Holden, Sven Plein, Muzahir H Tayebjee

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Aims: Measurement of circulating biomarkers of fibrosis may have a role in selecting patients and treatment strategy for catheter ablation. Pro-collagen type III N-terminal pro-peptide (PIIINP), C-telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP), fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF-23), and galectin 3 (gal-3) have all been suggested as possible biomarkers for this indication, but studies assessing whether peripheral levels reflect intra-cardiac levels are scarce.

Methods and results: We studied 93 patients undergoing ablation for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF) (n = 63) or non-paroxysmal AF (n = 30). Femoral venous, left and right atrial, and coronary sinus blood were analysed using ELISA to determine biomarker levels. Levels were compared with control patients (n = 36) and baseline characteristics, including left atrial voltage mapping data. C-telopeptide of type I collagen levels were higher in AF than in non-AF patients (P = 0.007). Peripheral ICTP levels were higher than all intra-cardiac levels (P < 0.001). Peripheral gal-3 levels were higher than left atrial levels (P = 0.001). Peripheral levels of FGF-23 and PIIINP were not significantly different from intra-cardiac levels. CS levels of ICTP were higher than right and left atrial levels (P < 0.001). gal-3 was higher in women vs. men (P ≤ 0.001) and with higher body mass index (P ≤ 0.001). ICTP levels increased with reducing ejection fraction (P ≤ 0.012).

Conclusions: Atrial fibrillation patients have higher levels of circulating ICTP than matched non-AF controls. In AF ablation patients, intra-cardiac sampling of FGF-23 or PIIINP gives no further information over peripheral sampling. For gal-3 and ICTP, intra-cardiac sampling may be necessary to assess their association with intra-cardiac processes. None of the biomarkers is related to fibrosis assessed by left atrial voltage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1944–1950
Issue number12
Early online date27 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


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