Pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) for paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF) is successful in ∼70-80 % after repeated procedures. This suggests a subgroup of PAF patients where electrical abnormalities outside the pulmonary veins are important. Prolonged P-wave duration (PWD), a marker of atrial remodelling, may identify this subgroup. This study's aim was to assess the association of PWD on standard 12 lead ECG with AF recurrence post PVI.
Methods: Retrospectively, ECGs were blindly analysed on PVI patients from August 2007-August 2011; patients with persistent AF, mitral valve disease, undergoing redo procedures or no sinus rhythm (SR) ECG within 1 year of PVI were excluded. ECGs were directly uploaded at 300 dpi, amplified ×10, and then PWD measured in all leads. Prolonged PWD was as priori defined as maximum PWD ≥ 140 ms.
Results: The selective cohort consisted of 100 patients out of a total of 170 PVI: age 58 ± 11 years, 72 % male, LVEF 62 ± 9 %, 18 % ischaemic heart disease and 13 % diabetic. Thirty-five had prolonged PWD, which was associated with greater AF recurrence rates compared to those without prolonged PWD (63 vs. 38 %, p < 0.05). Similarly, AF recurrence was associated with greater maximum PWD (139 ± 17 vs. 129 ± 14, p < 0.01), P-wave dispersion (58 ± 21 vs. 49 ± 15, p < 0.01), left atrium (LA) dimension (41 ± 6 vs. 38 ± 5, p < 0.05) and LA volumes (40 ± 14 vs. 34 ± 11, p < 0.05) compared to those who remained in SR. None of these variables were independent predictors of AF recurrence by multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: The presence of pre-existent prolonged PWD is associated with a higher risk of AF recurrence post PVI for paroxysmal AF.