Diagnosis of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in patients with implanted pacemakers: relationship to symptoms and other variables

Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology : PACE
Gianluca QuirinoS Serge Barold

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is not always accompanied by clear-cut symptoms and symptoms suggestive of AF may not correspond to a genuine AF episode. The study prospectively evaluated the burden of asymptomatic AF episodes in pacemaker patients (for sick sinus syndrome) with a history of documented paroxysmal AF. Consecutive patients were enrolled and implanted with dual-chamber pacemakers equipped with diagnostic features for AF monitoring. Each patient was instructed about typical AF symptoms and was asked to keep a detailed log of symptoms. Stored pacemaker data were analyzed using only AF episodes >30 s. The mean follow-up was 16 +/- 6 months and 102 patients were enrolled (73 +/- 7 years, 59 M). Thirteen patients (13%) dropped out with the development of permanent AF and their data were discarded. Twenty-three patients (26%) without device-stored AF episodes all reported at least one annotated AF episode. There were 1,245 device-stored AF episodes in 66 (74%) out of 89 patients. Patients reported 1,141 episodes of AF-related symptoms. Only 240 (21%) corresponded to a genuine device-stored AF event. The sensitivity and positive predictive value of symptoms to detect AF were respectively 19% and 21%. Episode duration, rate incr...Continue Reading

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