Predictors and outcomes of atrial tachyarrhythmia among patients with implantable defibrillators

Arwa Younis*, E. Kevin Heist, Scott McNitt, Mehmet K. Aktas, Spencer Rosero, Ilan Goldenberg, Valentina Kutyifa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Atrial tachyarrhythmias (ATAs) are common among heart failure (HF) patients. Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess predictors for the development of new ATA and its components (atrial fibrillation/flutter [AF], supraventricular tachycardia [SVT]), and their association with subsequent clinical outcomes. Methods: We assessed predictors for first and recurrent ATA, AF, and SVT among 1500 patients in MADIT-RIT (Multicenter Automatic Defibrillator Implantation Trial–Reduce Inappropriate Therapy). We also investigated the association of new ATA, AF, or SVT with subsequent ventricular arrhythmia (VA), adverse events (HF hospitalization, syncope, or death), or death by time-dependent analysis. Results: During 17 months of follow-up, 286 patients (19%) developed new ATA, of whom 92 (6%) had AF and 194 (12%) had SVT. Younger age (≤65 years), diastolic blood pressure ≥72 mm Hg, heart rate ≥63 bpm, absence of diabetes, and prior atrial arrhythmia were independent predictors of ATA. Prior atrial arrhythmia was the only predictor of AF (hazard ratio 3.14; P <.001). New ATA was associated with significantly increased risk for subsequent VA (HR 2.12; P <.001), increased adverse events (HR 1.42; P <.001), and death (HR 1.85; P = .038). New AF and new SVT were both independently associated with >2-fold increased risk for the development of subsequent VA (HR 2.21; P = .012l and HR 2.15; P <.001, respectively) and adverse events. Conclusion: Among MADIT-RIT patients, younger age, absence of diabetes, higher blood pressure, higher heart rate, and prior atrial arrhythmia predicted device-detected ATA. Both AF and SVT were associated with increased risk for subsequent VA and adverse events. Aggressive management should be considered in HF patients who develop new-onset, device-detected ATA to improve clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-559
Number of pages7
JournalHeart Rhythm
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial high rate
  • Atrial tachyarrhythmia
  • Inappropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator therapy
  • Outcome
  • Supraventricular arrhythmia


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