BACKGROUND: Long-term rhythm monitoring (LTRM) can detect undiagnosed atrial fibrillation (AF) in patients at high risk of AF and stroke. Biomarkers and echocardiographic parameters could, however, help identify patients benefitting most from LTRM. The aim of this study was to investigate, whether circulating biomarkers of cardiac and vascular function (brain natriuretic peptide (BNP), cardiac troponin I (cTnI), copeptin, and mid-regional proadrenomedullin (MR-proADM)) and echocardiographic parameters were associated with incident subclinical AF (SCAF) in a population at high risk of stroke in the presence of AF. For this purpose, we investigated individuals ≥65 years of age with hypertension and diabetes mellitus, but no history or symptoms of AF or other cardiovascular disease (CVD).
METHODS: We included 82 consecutive patients (median age 71.3 years (IQR 67.4-75.1)). All patients received an insertable cardiac monitor (ICM) and were followed for a median of 588 days (IQR 453-712). On the day of ICM implantation, a comprehensive echocardiogram and blood samples were obtained.
RESULTS: During a median follow-up of 588 days (IQR: 453 to 712 days), incident SCAF occurred in 17 patients (20.7%) with a median time to first-detected episode of 91 days (IQR 41-251 days). MR-proADM (median 0.87 nmol/L (IQR 0.76-1.02) vs 0.78 nmol/L (IQR 0.68-0.98)) and copeptin (median 13 pmol/L (IQR 9-17) vs 8 pmol/L (IQR 4-18)) levels were insignificantly higher in patients with incident SCAF. BNP and cTnI concentrations and echocardiographic parameters were similar in the two groups.
CONCLUSIONS: MR-proADM, BNP, cTnI, copeptin, and several echocardiographic parameters were not associated with incident SCAF in this cohort of patients with hypertension and diabetes, but without any underlying CVD. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.