We investigated the recovery of electrophysiological parameters from electrical remodeling after conversion of chronic lone atrial fibrillation in humans. Clinical studies have shown that the longer atrial fibrillation lasts, the more difficult it becomes to maintain the sinus rhythm after cardioversion. To explore the effects of the duration of atrial fibrillation on changes of electrophysiological parameters after conversion, we determined the atrial effective refractory period and P wave duration during right atrial pacing at 1 and 24 h after electrical cardioversion in 15 patients with chronic lone atrial fibrillation (median duration, 6 months). By 24 h after cardioversion, the effective refractory period at a pacing cycle length of 600 ms increased from 225±19 to 254±27 ms. However, the P wave duration did not decrease significantly 24 h after conversion. As the duration of atrial fibrillation became longer, the prolongation of effective refractory period was more delayed (P<0. 001, r=0.82), and the shortening of P wave duration was significantly smaller within 24 h after cardioversion (P<0. 001, r=0.67). After cardioversion of chronic lone atrial fibrillation, the recovery of shortened atrial refractoriness and prolonged intraatrial conduction time is dependent on the duration of preexisting atrial fibrillation.
- Atrial effective refractory period
- Atrial fibrillation
- Electrical cardioversion
- P wave duration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine