Altered values of heart rate variability in patients with relapse of atrial fibrillation during the first week after electrical cardioversion: Preliminary data

A. Michelucci, C. Lazzeri, L. Padeletti, G. Bagliani, A. Colella, A. Sabini, R. Zipoli, A. Costoli, P. Pieragnoli, G. F. Gensini, F. Franchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. It has not so far been elucidated whether the autonomic nervous system plays a role in the pathogenesis of atrial fibrillation relapse after electrical cardioversion. Methods. In 40 consecutive patients with atrial fibrillation (22 males, 18 females, mean age 60 ± 2 years) submitted to successful electrical cardioversion (external in 26 and low-energy internal in 14) we evaluated the heart rate variability (24-hour Holter recording) immediately after restoration of sinus rhythm in order to assess the cardiac sympatho-vagal drive. Results. Patients with atrial fibrillation relapse within the first week of electrical cardioversion were characterized by a significantly higher low/high frequency ratio. Conclusions. Despite the heterogeneity of the studied population (concerning both the therapy and etiology of atrial fibrillation), our data strongly suggest that the evaluation of the low/high frequency ratio by means of power spectral analysis immediately after electrical cardioversion is a useful tool for the identification of those patients who are prone to atrial fibrillation recurrence. Our conclusions are supported by the finding of high positive and negative predictive values for the low/high frequency ratio both in the 24-hour period and during daytime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-440
Number of pages6
JournalItalian Heart Journal
Volume2
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Keywords

  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Electrical cardioversion
  • Heart rate variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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