Effectiveness of restoration of sinus rhythm in patients with combined atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter

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Yu. V. Zinchenko
T. V. Mikhalieva
O. Ya. Ilchyshyna


The aim – to compare the effectiveness of restoration of sinus rhythm by transesophageal pacing (TEECP) in patients with prolonged episodes of isolated typical atrial flutter (AFl) and in patients with a combination of atrial fibrillation (AF) and AFl.
Materials and methods. 325 procedures of TEECP were performed in cases of longlasting episodes of AFl: from 8 days to 2 years (average 68.2±4.76 days). Prior to hospitalization, all subjects underwent ineffective medical cardioversion. The sinus rhythm was restored using TEECP, and in case of its ineffectiveness by means of electropulse therapy (EPT). All patients were divided into two groups: group I (n=237) – patients with a lone atrial flutter, and group II (n=88) – patients with the history of AF or in case of transformation AF into AFl because of antiarrhythmic therapy. Both groups were comparable by age, paroxysm duration, presence of hypertension and organic disorders of the heart conductive system, comorbidities, echocardiographic and hemodynamic parameters. Electrocardiographical parameters revealed no significant differences in the tachycardia cycle length and the average frequency of ventricular contractions.
Results and discussion. Patients in the group II were characterized by a significantly longer history of arrhythmia, more severe heart failure, higher frequency of arrhythmia paroxysms and detection of thyroid disorders; recorded significantly lower amplitudes of the F wave on the surface electrocardiogram and A wave on the esophageal electrogram, which was associated with the processes of electrophysiological remodeling of the atria. Also, in contrast to patients with typical AFl, there was a significant decrease in the effectiveness of TEECP (63.6 and 89 %); more frequent use of EPT (10.2 and 3 %) and more often arrhythmia has transformed into a permanent form (25 and 7.2 %).
Conclusions. In patients with prolonged episodes of typical AFl, a highly effective method of cardioversion is TEECP, regardless of the arrhythmia duration. In patients with concomitant AF, the restoration of sinus rhythm should be performed by EPT, due to its higher efficancy.

Article Details


atrial flutter, atrial fibrillation, cardioversion, antiarrhythmic drugs, esophageal pacing, electrophysiological remodeling


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