Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation in the wolff-parkinson-white syndrome

Robert A. Bauernfeind*, Christopher R. Wyndham, Steven P. Swiryn, Edwin V. Palileo, Boris Strasberg, Wilfred Lam, Douglas Westveer, Kenneth M. Rosen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Eighty-eight patients with preexcitation were studied to determine how 30 patients with documented spontaneous paroxysmal atrial fibrillation differed from 58 patients without this arrhythmia. Inducible reentrant tachycardia was present in 23 (77 percent) of the 30 patients with, versus 28 (48 percent) of the 58 patients without, atrial fibrillation (p < 0.025). Heart disease was present in 13 (43 percent) of the 30 patients with, versus 15 (26 percent) of the 58 patients without, atrial fibrillation (not significant). Inducible reentrant tachycardia or heart disease, or both, were present in 29 (97 percent) of the 30 patients with, versus 34 (59 percent) of the 58 patients without, atrial fibrillation (p < 0.0005). Of 51 patients with inducible reentrant tachycardia, 23 patients with atrial fibrillation did not differ from 28 patients without this arrhythmia with respect to clinical features and atrial, sinus nodal, or anomalous pathway properties, or cycle length of induced reentrant tachycardia. Spontaneous degeneration of induced reentrant tachycardia to atrial fibrillation was observed in 6 (26 percent) of 23 patients with, versus none of 28 patients without, atrial fibrillation (p < 0.025). In summary, patients with preexcitation and documented spontaneous paroxysmal atrial fibrillation almost always have inducible reentrant tachycardia or heart disease, or both. It is likely that in many patients with inducible reentrant tachycardia, spontaneously occurring reentrant tachycardia relates to induction of atrial fibrillation. However, it is unclear why some patients with inducible reentrant tachycardia have atrial fibrillation and others do not. In many patients with organic heart disease, atrial fibrillation could relate to hemodynamic changes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)562-569
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Volume47
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1981
Externally publishedYes

Funding

FundersFunder number
National Heart, Lung, and Blood InstituteR01HL018794

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