Sep 15, 2004

Clustering of RR intervals predicts effective electrical cardioversion for atrial fibrillation

Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
Maarten P Van Den BergIsabelle C Van Gelder


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is characterized by an irregularly irregular ("random") heart beat. However, controversy exists whether the ventricular rhythm in AF is truly random. We investigated randomness by constructing three-dimensional RR interval plots (3D plots), allowing identification of "clustering" of RR intervals. It was hypothesized that electrical cardioversion (ECV) would be more effective in AF patients with clustering, because clustering might reflect a higher degree of organization of atrial fibrillatory activity. The study group consisted of 66 patients (44 men and 22 women; mean age 68 +/- 11 years), who were referred for ECV because of persistent AF. Twenty-four-hour Holter recordings were used to construct 3D plots by plotting each RR interval (x axis) against the previous RR interval (y axis) and the number of occurrences of each of these x,y combinations (z axis). A clustering index was calculated as the percentage of beats within the peaks in the 3D plot. Based on the 3D plots, clustering of RR intervals was present in 31 (47%) of the 66 patients. ECV was effective in restoring sinus rhythm in 29 (94%) of these 31 patients, whereas sinus rhythm was restored in only 25 (71%) of the remaining 35 patients witho...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Heart Beat
Sinus - General Anatomical Term
Atrial Fibrillation
Holter Electrocardiography
Cardiac Conduction System
Electroversion Therapy
Idioventricular Rhythm
Heart Atrium
Sinus brand of acetaminophen-pseudoephedrine
Cutaneous Fistula

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