Prolonged atrial effective refractory periods in atrial fibrillation patients associated with structural heart disease or sinus node dysfunction compared with lone atrial fibrillation

Jae Sun Uhm, Hee Sun Mun, Jin Wi, Jaemin Shim, Boyoung Joung, Moon Hyoung Lee, Hui Nam Pak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Backgrounds Atrial fibrillation (AF) is commonly associated with structural heart disease (SHD) or sinus node dysfunction (SND). We hypothesized that regional atrial effective refractory period (ERP) is different in patients with SHD/SND from lone AF. Methods We included 648 patients with AF (age, 56.0 ± 11.0 years; male, 77.3%; paroxysmal AF [PAF], 67.9%; persistent AF [PeAF], 32.1%) who underwent radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFCA), and compared the clinical characteristics in patients with SHD (n = 132) versus without SHD (n = 516) and those with SND (n = 74) versus without SND (n = 574). ERPs were measured at the high and low right atrium, proximal, and distal coronary sinus. Results (1) Patients with SHD had older age (P < 0.001), greater left atrial (LA) volume (P < 0.001), LA pressure (P = 0.002), and plasma proatrial natriuretic peptide (P = 0.005) than patients without SHD. (2) Patients with SND were older (P = 0.004), more likely female (P = 0.004), and had lower body weight (P < 0.001) and higher E/E′ (P < 0.001) than those without SND. (3) The mean atrial ERP was significantly shorter in patients with PeAF than those with PAF (P < 0.001). The mean ERP was significantly longer in patients with AF with SHD/SND than those with lone AF (P = 0.006). (4) The clinical outcomes of RFCA were not significantly different between SHD/SND and lone AF for 14.8 ± 8.5 months of follow-up period. Conclusion The mean atrial ERP was shorter in patients with PeAF than those with PAF due to electrical remodeling. In contrast, AF patients with SHD/SND showed a more prolonged mean atrial ERP than those with lone AF, associated with LA enlargement or left ventricular diastolic dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb 1
Externally publishedYes



  • atrial fibrillation
  • refractory period
  • sinus node dysfunction
  • structural heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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