Analysis of R-R Intervals in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation at Rest and During Exercise
Serial autocorrelation functions and histograms of R-R intervals in patients with atrial fibrillation, with and without digitalis, at rest and during exercise, were produced by a computer. At rest with and without digitalis the first and higher order coefficients did not differ from zero. During exercise (also with and without digitalis) only the first autocorrelation coefficient became slightly positive (in the order of 0.07) whereas the form of the histograms was profoundly altered by both exercise and digitalis. The change in form of the histograms reveals the change in electrophysiologic properties of the A-V conduction system. Since the serial autocorrelation functions were not influenced by digitalis and only slightly by exercise, the conclusion seems justified that the refractory period of, and the concealed conduction in, the A-V system cannot be (solely) responsible for the random nature of the ventricular rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation. The effect of randomly spaced atrial impulses of random strength reaching the A-V node from random directions can explain these results.
- Serial autocorrelation coefficients
- Concealed conduction
- Refractory period
- Random rhythm
- A-V node
- Received November 17, 1969.
- Accepted January 26, 1970.
- © 1970 American Heart Association, Inc.