By Ahmed El-Medany
This pioneering in vivo study by Saglietto et al investigated beat-to-beat microcirculatory perfusion during atrial fibrillation (AF) by using near-infrared spectroscopy to non-invasively monitor cerebral haemodynamics. A proxy of microcirculatory cerebral perfusion was compared before and after restoration of AF to sinus rhythm following DC cardioversion (DCCV).
DCCV was successful in restoring SR in 51 (96%) of 53 enrolled participants. A significant decrease of both hypoperfusive and hyperperfusive/hypertensive microcirculatory events was observed after restoration to sinus rhythm (P < 0.001 and P = 0.041, respectively).
As AF is associated with cognitive decline and dementia, the authors postulate that sinus rhythm maintenance may slow long-term AF related cognitive impairment.
Saglietto A, Scarsoglio S, Canova D, Roatta S, Gianotto N, Piccotti A, Franzin S, Gaita F, De Ferrari GM, Ridolfi L, Anselmino M. Increased beat-to-beat variability of cerebral microcirculatory perfusion during atrial fibrillation: a near-infrared spectroscopy study. EP Europace. 2021 Apr 13.