Aims: Hypertension is a major risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF); however, reliable non-invasive tools to assess AF risk in hypertensive patients are lacking. We sought to evaluate the efficacy of P wave wavelet analysis in predicting AF risk recurrence in a hypertensive cohort.
Methods: We studied 37 hypertensive patients who presented with an AF episode for the first time and 37 age- and sex-matched hypertensive controls without AF. P wave duration and energy variables were measured for each subject [i.e. mean and max P wave energy along horizontal (x), coronal (y) and sagittal (z) axes in low, intermediate and high frequency bands]. AF-free survival was assessed over a follow-up of 12.1±0.4months.
Results: P wave duration (Pdurz) and mean P wave energy in the intermediate frequency band across sagittal axis (mean2z) were independently associated with baseline AF status (p=0.008 and p=0.001, respectively). Based on optimal cut-off points, four groups were formed: Pdurz<83.2ms/mean2z<6.2μV(2) (n=23), Pdurz<83.2ms/mean2z≥6.2μV(2) (n=10), Pdurz≥83.2ms/mean2z<6.2μV(2) (n=22) and Pdurz≥83.2ms/mean2z≥6.2μV(2) (n=19). AF-free survival decreased (Log Rank p<0.0001) from low risk (Pdurz<83.2ms/mean2z<6.2μV(2)) to high-risk group (Pdurz≥83.2ms/mean2z≥6.2μV(2)). Patients presenting with longer and higher energy P waves were at 18 times higher AF risk compared to those with neither (OR: 17.6, 95% CI: 3.7-84.3) even after adjustment for age, sex, hypertension duration, left atrial size, beta-blocker, ACEi/ARBs and statin therapy.
Conclusions: P wave temporal and energy characteristics extracted using wavelet analysis can potentially serve as screening tool to identify hypertensive patients at risk of AF recurrence.
Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Hypertension; Orthogonal ECG; P wave wavelet analysis.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.