Random and nonrandom behavior of symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.


Journal Article

Little is known about the behavior of symptomatic paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (AF). The nature of the process formed by the successive occurrences of this arrhythmia was studied in 8 patients with a history of symptomatic paroxysmal AF. Trans-telephonic monitoring of the electrocardiogram was used to document the cardiac rhythm during symptoms. Patients were followed while successive attacks of paroxysmal AF were documented. A minimum of 12 and a maximum of 26 consecutive episodes of symptomatic paroxysmal AF were recorded from the 8 patients during 66 to 332 days. Methods developed in industrial reliability theory were used to show that, for the overall group of 8 patients, the interevent times between successive occurrences of symptomatic AF were not independent. However, for a subgroup including 6 of the patients, the interevent times were independent and governed by an exponential probability distribution. Differences in observed behavior of symptomatic AF may relate to differences in underlying mechanism within patients.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Greer, GS; Wilkinson, WE; McCarthy, EA; Pritchett, EL

Published Date

  • August 1, 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 64 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 339 - 342

PubMed ID

  • 2756878

Pubmed Central ID

  • 2756878

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0002-9149

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/0002-9149(89)90531-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States