Published on:
    Journal of Cardiovascular Disease Research, 2012; 3(2):109-112
    ORIGINAL ARTICLE | doi:10.4103/0975-3583.95363

    Liver cirrhosis prevents atrial fibrillation: A reality or just an illusion?


    Mahmood Zamirian, Tahmineh Sarmadi, Kamran Aghasadeghi, Mohammad Bagher Sharif Kazemi

    Department of Cardiology, Cardiovascular Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.


    Objectives: In cirrhotic patients, despite presence of significant metabolic abnormalities and enlarged left atria, we have seldom observed atrial fibrillation (AF) rhythm. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of AF among cirrhotic patients and comparing it with that reported in the general population. Materials and Methods: Medical documents of 1302 adult cirrhotic patients, booked in the waiting list of liver transplantation, were evaluated retrospectively. Electrocardiograms were reviewed for the presence of AF rhythm, and echocardiographies were reviewed to obtain left atrial (LA) size. Result: Only two patients (0.15%) were detected to have AF rhythm, which was significantly lower than that reported in our general population, even after age and sex adjustment. Six hundred and sixty-eight patients (51%) had enlarged left atria (LA diameter more than 39mm); both AF patients belonged to this group. Conclusion: The result of this study suggests the protective effect of liver cirrhosis on development of atrial fibrillation. Further studies are needed to verify the possible mechanisms.

    Key words:Atrial fibrillation,liver cirrhosis,liver transplantation.