Prediction of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation by analysis of atrial premature complexes

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2004 Apr;51(4):561-9. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2003.821030.


Currently, no reliable method exists to predict the onset of paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF). We propose a predictor that includes an analysis of the R-R time series. The predictor uses three criteria: the number of premature atrial complexes (PAC) not followed by a regular R-R interval, runs of atrial bigeminy and trigeminy, and the length of any short run of paroxysmal atrial tachycardia. An increase in activity detected by any of these three criteria is an indication of an imminent episode of PAF. Using the Physionet database of the Computers in Cardiology 2001 Challenge, the predictor achieved a sensitivity of 89% and a specificity of 91%.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / etiology
  • Atrial Premature Complexes / complications
  • Atrial Premature Complexes / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Tachycardia, Paroxysmal / diagnosis*
  • Tachycardia, Paroxysmal / etiology