Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2000 Nov;23(11 Pt 2):1867-71.

Circadian variations in atrial fibrillatory frequency in persistent human atrial fibrillation.

Author information

Department of Cardiology, University Hospital Magdeburg, Leipziger Str. 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany.


Atrial fibrillatory frequency reflects the atrial refractory period during AF. This study was conducted to investigate noninvasively the diurnal fluctuations of fibrillatory frequency in persistent human atrial fibrillation and to determine the relationship between changes in ventricular rate and fibrillatory frequency. Ambulatory ECGs were recorded in 30 patients (18 men, 12 women, mean age 60 +/- 11 years) with persistent AF (> 24 hours). AF frequency was measured in 1-minute ECG segments by subtracting averaged QRST complexes and applying Fourier analysis to the resulting signals at 4 PM, 10 PM, 4 AM, and 10 AM. Peak frequency was determined in the 3-12 Hz frequency band. Mean fibrillatory frequency measured 6.6 +/- 0.6 Hz (range 5.0-7.8 Hz). Two different frequency patterns were distinguished comparing maximal diurnal versus nocturnal fibrillatory frequency. In six (20%) patients an increase (P = 0.045) in nocturnal fibrillatory frequency (type I) was found. In the remaining 24 (80%) patients a decrease (P < 0.001) in fibrillatory frequency occurred (type II). Type I AF showed a strong inverse correlation between relative changes (percent) in ventricular rate and fibrillatory frequency obtained from two consecutive measurement points (r = -0.88 to -.97, P < 0.01), whereas in type II AF a moderate positive correlation (r = 0.36 to 0.41, P < 0.05) was detected. These data indicate a circadian pattern in AF frequency that concurs with ventricular rate changes suggesting a modulating influence of the autonomic nervous system on atrial electrophysiology in persistent human AF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center