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Am Heart J. 1998 May;135(5 Pt 1):733-8.

Simple electrocardiographic markers for the prediction of paroxysmal idiopathic atrial fibrillation.

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State Department of Cardiology, Hippokration Hospital, Athens, Greece.



The prolongation of intraatrial and interatrial conduction time and the inhomogeneous propagation of sinus impulses are well known electrophysiologic characteristics in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF).


To search for possible electrocardiographic markers that could serve as predictors of idiopathic PAF, we measured the maximum P-wave duration (P maximum) and the difference between the maximum and the minimum P-wave duration (P dispersion) from the 12-lead surface electrocardiogram of 60 patients with a history of idiopathic PAF and 40 age-matched healthy control subjects.


P maximum and P dispersion were found to be significantly higher in patients with idiopathic PAF than in control subjects. A P maximum value of 110 msec and a P dispersion value of 40 msec separated patients from control subjects, with a sensitivity of 88% and 83% and a specificity of 75% and 85%, respectively.


P maximum and P dispersion are simple electrocardiographic markers that could be used for the prediction of idiopathic PAF.

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