Background: Telomere length is a biologic aging marker. This study investigated leukocyte telomere length (LTL) as a new biomarker to predict recurrence after paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) ablation. Methods and Results: A total of 131 participants (26 healthy individuals and 105 symptomatic PAF patients) were enrolled. PAF patients (54.1±10.8 years) who received catheter ablation therapy were divided into 2 groups: recurrent AF (n=25) and no recurrent AF after catheter ablation (n=80). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were collected from all subjects to measure LTL. Under 50 years old, LTL in healthy individuals (n=17) was longer than in PAF patients (n=31; 7.34±0.58 kbp vs. 6.44±0.91 kbp, P=0.01). In PAF patients, LTL was positively correlated with left atrial bipolar voltage (R=0.497, P<0.001), and negatively correlated with biatrial scar area (R=−0.570, P<0.001) and left atrial diameter (R=−0.214, P=0.028). LTL was shorter in the patients with recurrent AF than in those without recurrent AF after catheter ablation (5.68±0.82 kbp vs. 6.66±0.71 kbp; P<0.001). On receiver operating characteristic curve analysis, LTL cut-off <6.14 kbp had a specificity of 0.68 and sensitivity of 0.79 to predict recurrent AF after catheter ablation. Conclusions: Young PAF patients (≤50 years) had shorter LTL. Shorter LTL was associated with a degenerative atrial substrate and recurrence after catheter ablation in younger PAF patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine