Send to

Choose Destination
Can J Cardiol. 2013 Oct;29(10):1227-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cjca.2013.06.014.

Lone atrial fibrillation in the pediatric population.

Author information

Division of Pediatric Cardiology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.



There are few reports of pediatric studies of atrial fibrillation (AF). We sought to describe the clinical characteristics, management strategies, and recurrence rates and to identify predictors of AF recurrence in a contemporary pediatric population.


A retrospective review was performed of patients ≤ 18 years with lone AF who were seen at 4 pediatric institutions from 1996-2011. Patients with AF in the setting of thyroid disease, ventricular pre-excitation, coexisting congenital heart disease, or a history of cardiac surgery were excluded. Demographics, clinical presentation, investigations, treatment, and follow-up were analyzed.


Forty-two patients were diagnosed with a first episode of lone AF, and 4 of these cases were later classified as persistent AF. Thirty-one (74%) were male patients, median age was 15.3 years, and median (interquartile range [IQR]) duration of AF episode was 12 (IQR, 7-24) hours. AF recurred in 39% (15 of 38) of patients. The Kaplan-Meier median time to estimated recurrence was 19 months. By univariate analysis, initial AF episode duration was associated with a higher risk of recurrence (hazard ratio [HR], 1.01; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1-1.02; P = 0.034). Sex, age, family history, size of the left atrium, and history of cardioversion were not associated with recurrence. Recurrence with another supraventricular tachyarrhythmia (SVT) was observed in 6 of 38 (16%) patients, and 12 patients underwent electrophysiology (EP) study, with 6 patients receiving ablation.


Our reported rate of recurrence of 39% is important when counseling pediatric patients and their parents on the expected course and treatment goals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center