Effect of the implantable atrial defibrillator on the natural history of atrial fibrillation

Hung Fat Tse, Chu Pak Lau, Cheuk Man Yu, Kathy L F Lee, Gregory F. Michaud, Bradley P. Knight, Fred Morady, S. Adam Strickberger*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effect of repeated cardioversion with an implantable atrial defibrillator on the clinical outcome of patients with atrial fibrillation. Methods and Results: The effects of the implantable atrial defibrillator on the total duration of atrial fibrillation, number of atrial fibrillation recurrences, and left atrial size were evaluated prospectively in 16 patients with atrial fibrillation (13 men and 3 women; mean age 58 ± 11 years). Seven patients had no cardiovascular disease, 5 patients had hypertension, 3 patients had coronary heart disease, and 1 patient had congenital heart disease. Eight patients had paroxysmal atrial fibrillation for a mean duration of 80 ± 61 months, and eight patients had persistent atrial fibrillation for a mean duration of 68 ± 119 months. Except for one patient who received digoxin throughout the study, all patients received the same Class I or III antiarrhythmic agent throughout the study. The implantable atrial defibrillator successfully converted 50 (93%) of 54 spontaneous episodes of atrial fibrillation in 12 patients. During the initial 3 months of clinical follow-up, the atrial defibrillator documented 261 ± 270 hours of atrial fibrillation compared with 126 ± 172 hours (P = 0.01) during the subsequent 3 months. The left atrial size decreased from 4.4 ± 0.7 cm at the time of atrial defibrillator implantation to 4.1 ± 0.6 cm (P = 0.02) 6 months later. The number of atrial fibrillation recurrences did not change. These findings were observed in the absence of changes in drug therapy. No complications were observed. Conclusion: Restoration and maintenance of sinus rhythm in patients with atrial fibrillation by repeated cardioversion with an implantable atrial defibrillator was associated with a reduction in the total arrhythmia duration and a reduction in left atrial size. These results suggest that maintenance of sinus rhythm with the atrial defibrillator may reverse the remodeling process associated with atrial fibrillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1200-1209
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Volume10
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

Keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardioversion
  • Supraventricular arrhythmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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