Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a significant risk factor for stroke and early detection of AF may help to identify patients in need of treatment. Automated blood pressure (BP) monitors with implemented AF or arrhythmia detection systems may be a useful tool for early diagnosis of AF. A systematic review (Medline/PubMed, Embase, Cochrane) of studies was performed to assess the accuracy of modified BP monitors (for diagnosing AF). A total of five studies (four tests in the physician's office and one at home) were selected. For the most accurate AF detection, three sequential BP measurements should be performed. Direct comparison against a 12-lead ECG showed that the highest sensitivity, 97% (95% CI: 94-100%), for detecting AF was obtained when three readings were assessed with two or three AF-positive readings. The highest specificity (97%) was obtained when performing three measurements, of which all three must be AF positive. The modified BP monitor (Microlife Corporation, Taipei, Taiwan) has high potential in improving AF screening.
- atrial fibrillation
- blood pressure measurement
- oscillometric blood pressure monitor
- primary care