Incidence of Newly Detected Atrial Arrhythmias via Implantable Devices in Patients With a History of Thromboembolic Events
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
Background and Purpose—Evidence of atrial tachycardia/atrial fibrillation (AT/AF) is often sought in patients with ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack. We studied patients with previous thromboembolic events (TE) who were implanted with devices capable of continuous arrhythmia monitoring to comprehensively quantify the incidence and duration of newly detected AT/AF.
Methods—This study represents a subgroup analysis of the TRENDS trial, which included patients with clinical indications for pacemakers or defibrillators and ≥1 stroke risk factors (heart failure, hypertension, age 65 or older, diabetes, or previous TE). A history of AF was not required. All implanted devices were capable of continuously monitoring the cumulative time spent in AT/AF each day. This analysis focuses primarily on the incidence and duration of newly detected AT/AF (defined as ≥5 minutes of AT/AF on any day) in patients with previous TE, no documented history of AF, and no warfarin or antiarrhythmic drug use.
Results—A total of 319 patients had a history of TE and ≥1 day of device data. Patients with a documented history of AF (n=80), warfarin use (n=56), or antiarrhythmic drug use (n=20) were excluded from analysis. Of the remaining 163 patients, newly detected AT/AF was identified via the device in 45 patients (28%) over a mean follow-up of 1.1±0.7 years. AT/AF recurred infrequently, with only 12 patients experiencing AT/AF on >10% of follow-up days.
Conclusion—Newly detected episodes of AT/AF were found via continuous monitoring in 28% of patients with previous TE. Most episodes would not have been detected by standard intermittent monitoring techniques.
- Received October 27, 2009.
- Accepted November 5, 2009.