P Wave Duration/P Wave Voltage Ratio Plays a Promising Role in the Prediction of Atrial Fibrillation: A New Player in the Game

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ÖZDEMİR, Ramazan
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Background. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia in clinical practice. Identification of patients at risk for developing AF and the opportunity for early targeted intervention might have a significant impact on morbidity and mortality. Prolonged P wave duration and decreased P wave voltage have been shown to be independent predictors of AF. The present study aimed to investigate the role of P wave duration/P wave voltage in predicting new-onset AF. Methods. We screened a total of 640 consecutive patients who admitted to cardiology outpatient clinic with a complaint of palpitation between 2012 and 2014. 24-h Holter monitoring, echocardiography, and electrocardiography (ECG) recordings were reviewed to identify new-onset AF. Patients were assigned into two groups based on presence (n = 150) and absence (n = 490) of new-onset AF. Previous ECGs with sinus rhythm were analyzed. P wave duration was measured in inferior leads, and P wave voltage was measured in lead one. P wave duration/P wave voltage was also calculated for each patient. Results. One hundred fifty subjects (23.4%) had new-onset AF among 640 patients. P wave duration (123.27 +/- 12.87 vs. 119.33 +/- 17.39 ms, p=0.024) and P wave duration/P wave voltage (1284.70 +/- 508.03 vs. 924.14 +/- 462.06 ms/mV, p<0.001) were higher, and P wave voltage (0.12 +/- 0.04 vs. 0.13 +/- 0.04 mV, p<0.001) was significantly lower in the new-onset AF group compared with non-AFs. P wave duration/P wave voltage, with a cut off of 854.5 ms/mV, had 83.3% sensitivity and 62.0% specificity in a receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC 0.728, 95% CI 0.687-0.769; p<0.001). Their negative and positive predictive values were 78.7% and 68.6%, respectively. In a univariate regression analysis, age, smoking, C-reactive protein, brain natriuretic peptide, left atrial diameter, left atrial volume index, P wave duration, P wave voltage, and P wave duration/P wave voltage were significantly associated with the development of new-onset AF. Moreover, smoking (OR 4.008, 95% CI 1.707-9.409; p=0.001), left atrial volume index (OR 7.108, 95% CI 4.400-11.483; p<0.001), and P wave duration/P wave voltage (OR 1.002, 95% CI 1.000-1.003; p=0.044) were found to be significant independent predictors of new-onset AF in a multivariate analysis, after adjusting for other risk parameters. Conclusion. The P wave duration/P wave voltage ratio is a practical, easy-to-use, cheap, and reliable electrocardiographic parameter, which can play a promising role for both in predicting and elucidating a mechanism of new-onset AF.
Atrial Fibrillation
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