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Am J Cardiol. 1995 Aug 15;76(5):355-8.

Clinical and echocardiographic features of intermittent atrial fibrillation that predict recurrent atrial fibrillation. Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation (SPAF) Investigators.

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University of Missouri-Columbia, USA.


In addition to antithrombotic therapy, 2 treatment strategies for intermittent atrial fibrillation (AF) are evolving: suppression of AF or control of the ventricular response during AF. Clinical and echocardiographic features that predict recurrent AF may influence the choice of management. In this study, clinical, echocardiographic, and electrocardiographic data from 486 patients with intermittent AF enrolled in the Stroke Prevention in Atrial Fibrillation studies were analyzed. Patients with intermittent AF were younger (p < 0.001), had fewer incidences of systemic hypertension (p < 0.007) and heart failure (p < 0.001), and had more recent-onset AF than patients with constant AF. They also had a smaller mean left atrial diameter, a lower prevalence of a large (> 5 cm) left atrium, better left ventricular performance by echo, and less mitral regurgitation. After a mean follow-up of 26 months, 51% of patients remained in sinus rhythm and 49% of patients developed recurrent AF, including 12% who had AF, as seen on all follow-up electrocardiograms. Clinical factors predicting recurrent AF were age, heart failure, and myocardial infarction. An enlarged left atrium was associated with recurrent intermittent AF; an enlarged left ventricle predicted conversion to constant AF. Thus, clinical and echocardiographic parameters predict recurrent AF in patients with intermittent nonvalvular AF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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