Author + information
- Received February 1, 1995
- Revision received June 1, 1995
- Accepted June 7, 1995
- Published online November 1, 1995.
- Ivan G. Maia, MD*,
- Fernando E.S. Cruz Filho, MD,
- Marcio L.A. Fagundes, MD,
- Silvia H. Boghossian, MD,
- Lutgarde Vanheusden, RN,
- Roberto M. Sa, MD and
- Paulo A.G. Alves, MD
- ↵*Address for correspondence:Dr. Ivan G. Maia. Rua Raul Kennedy 81. Rio de Janeiro Brazil CEP 22631-200.
Objectives. We attempted to establish a relation between the atrial conduction time assessed by the signal-averaged P wave electrocardiogram and episodes of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in patients with the Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome.
Background. The incidence of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation is higher in patients with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome than in normal persons. However, the role of intraatrial conduction delay in precipitating the disorganization of atrial rhythm is not completely understood.
Methods. The total duration of the signal-averaged P wave and the P wave in standard lead II was evaluated after successful radiofrequency catheter ablation in 28 patients with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome. The data obtained from 17 patients (61%) with a documented history of prior paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (group 1) were compared with those obtained from 11 patients (39%) without a history of atrial fibrillation (group 2). Both groups were further compared with a normal control population.
Results. The mean ± SD signal-averaged P wave duration in group 1 was 141.94 ± 9.47 ms (range 130.0 to 171.0). Fourteen patients (82%) in this group showed a P wave duration > 135.0 ms. In group 2, the signal-averaged P wave duration was 126.64 ± 8.72 ms (range 111.0 to 136.0). Only one patient in this group (9%) showed a P wave duration >135.0 ms (p < 0.000, group 1 vs. group 2). The signal-averaged P wave duration in the control group was 124.46 ± 4.49 ms (range 115.0 to 129.5; p < 0.000, group 1 vs. the control group; p < 0.454, group 2 vs. the control group). The P wave duration in lead II was 92.06 ± 8.85 ms in group 1 and 92.27 ± 7.86 ms in group 2 (p < 0.949). Using a cutoff value of < 135.0 ms for a normal signal-averaged P wave duration, the method had a sensitivity and specificity and positive and negative predictive values of 82%, 91%, 93% and 77%, respectively, for identifying patients with clinical paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.
Conclusions. In the current study, the signal-averaged P wave showed a prolonged intraatrial conduction time in patients with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation. These patients can be differentiated from those with the pre-excitation syndrome without clinical atrial fibrillation as well as from normal subjects. The prolonged intraatrial conduction time may serve as an atrial substratum for development and maintenance of the fibrillatory state.
- Received February 1, 1995.
- Revision received June 1, 1995.
- Accepted June 7, 1995.
- American College of Cardiology