P wave dispersion has been previously suggested as a potential tool for predicting the risk of recurrence of atrial fibrillation after electrical cardioversion. We investigated whether different P wave dispersion values are associated with recurrence of atrial fibrillation in the short (< or =1 month after cardioversion) and longer term. METHODS: In 37 patients with long-lasting persistent atrial fibrillation (mean duration 21 +/- 36 months) with (n = 19) or without (n = 18) amiodarone pretreatment as antiarrhythmic prophylaxis, maximum and minimum P wave duration and P wave dispersion were measured 1 min after internal cardioversion. RESULTS: P wave dispersion was lower in patients with amiodarone pretreatment (28.3 +/- 9.5 vs. 21.9 +/- 7.3 ms, P = 0.029). The subgroups of patients with recurrence of atrial fibrillation at 1 month or in the long-term did not differ from the rest of the study sample regarding age, sex, atrial fibrillation duration, left atrial dimensions or ejection fraction. P wave dispersion was significantly higher in patients with short-term atrial fibrillation recurrence (< or = 1 month) than in the rest of the population. Furthermore, P wave dispersion values >25 ms were associated with a higher short-term relapse rate. No significant relation was present in the long-term. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that P wave dispersion analysis immediately after internal cardioversion may help predict short-term recurrences of atrial fibrillation. These findings may be related to different mechanisms and predisposing factors for short-term and late recurrences. The long-term predictive value of serial evaluations of P wave dispersion during follow-up deserves investigation.
P wave dispersion and short-term vs. late atrial fibrillation recurrences after cardioversion / Boriani, Giuseppe; Diemberger, I; Biffi, M; Camanini, C; Valzania, C; Corazza, I; Martignani, C; Zannoli, R; Branzi, A.. - In: INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CARDIOLOGY. - ISSN 0167-5273. - 101(3):(2005), pp. 355-361. [10.1016/j.ijcard.2004.03.039 ]