Impact of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease on Arrhythmia Recurrence Following Atrial Fibrillation Ablation

Eoin Donnellan, Thomas G. Cotter, Oussama M. Wazni, Mohamed B. Elshazly, Arshneel Kochar, Bryan Wilner, Divyang Patel, Mohamed Kanj, Ayman Hussein, Bryan Baranowski, Daniel Cantillon, Brian Griffin, Wael Jaber, Walid I. Saliba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study sought to investigate the association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and arrhythmia recurrence following atrial fibrillation ablation; and to examine the impact of NAFLD stage on outcomes. Background: Metabolic derangements, including obesity and diabetes, are associated with incident and recurrent atrial fibrillation (AF), in addition to the development of NAFLD. Methods: This was a retrospective study of 267 consecutive patients undergoing AF ablation, 89 of whom were diagnosed with NAFLD prior to ablation and matched in a 2:1 manner based on age, sex, body mass index, ejection fraction, and AF type with 178 patients without NAFLD. Patients were monitored for arrhythmia recurrence during a mean follow-up of 29 months. Results: Recurrent arrhythmia was observed in 50 (56%) patients with NAFLD compared with 37 (21%) without NAFLD. Epicardial fat volume was measured on computed tomography and was significantly higher among those with NAFLD (248 ± 125 ml vs. 223 ± 97 ml; p = 0.01). On multivariable models adjusting for sleep apnea, body mass index, heart failure, AF type, and left atrial size, NAFLD was independently associated with increased rates of arrhythmia recurrence (hazard ratio: 3.010; 95% confidence interval: 1.980 to 4.680; p < 0.0001). Conclusions: NAFLD is associated with significantly increased arrhythmia recurrence rates following AF ablation. Identification and reversal, where possible, may result in improved arrhythmia-free survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1278-1287
Number of pages10
JournalJACC: Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • atrial fibrillation ablation
  • diabetes
  • nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • obesity
  • risk factor modification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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