Detection of patients at risk for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation during sinus rhythm by P wave-triggered signal-averaged electrocardiogram.
To determine whether patients at risk for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation could be detected while in sinus rhythm, the signal-averaged electrocardiogram triggered by P waves was recorded in 42 patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (Paf group) and in 50 control patients. The root mean square voltages (LP10, LP20, and LP30) for the last 10, 20, and 30 msec and the duration (Ad) of filtered (40-300 Hz) P wave of the spatial magnitude were measured. LP10 and LP20 were significantly lower in the Paf than in the control group (LP10, 1.92 +/- 0.58 versus 2.49 +/- 0.78 microV, p less than 0.001; LP20, 2.47 +/- 0.78 versus 3.46 +/- 1.20 microV, p less than 0.0001), although no significant difference in LP30 was found between groups. Ad was also significantly longer in the Paf than in the control group (137.0 +/- 14.3 versus 118.6 +/- 11.3 msec, p less than 0.001). These differences between the Paf and control groups remained significant even after dividing by the presence or absence of organic heart diseases. The criteria of "LP20 = 3.5 microV or less" and "Ad greater than 120 msec" as defining "atrial late potential" gave a sensitivity of 91% and a specificity of 76%. These findings suggest that patients at risk for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation could be detected while in sinus rhythm by using the P wave-triggered signal-averaged electrocardiogram.
- Copyright © 1991 by American Heart Association