Short P-Wave Duration is a Marker of Higher Rate of Atrial Fibrillation Recurrences after Pulmonary Vein Isolation: New Insights into the Pathophysiological Mechanisms Through Computer Simulations

A. Auricchio*, T. Ozkartal, F. Salghetti, L. Neumann, S. Pezzuto, A. Gharaviri, A. Demarchi, M.L. Caputo, F. Regoli, C. De Asmundis, G.B. Chierchia, P. Brugada, C. Klersy, T. Moccetti, U. Schotten, G. Conte

*Corresponding author for this work

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BackgroundShort ECG P-wave duration has recently been demonstrated to be associated with higher risk of atrial fibrillation (AF). The aim of this study was to assess the rate of AF recurrence after pulmonary vein isolation in patients with a short P wave, and to mechanistically elucidate the observation by computer modeling.Methods and ResultsA total of 282 consecutive patients undergoing a first single-pulmonary vein isolation procedure for paroxysmal or persistent AF were included. Computational models studied the effect of adenosine and sodium conductance on action potential duration and P-wave duration (PWD). About 16% of the patients had a PWD of 110 ms or shorter (median PWD 126 ms, interquartile range, 115 ms-138 ms; range, 71 ms-180 ms). At Cox regression, PWD was significantly associated with AF recurrence (P=0.012). Patients with a PWD <110 ms (hazard ratio [HR], 2.20; 95% CI, 1.24-3.88; P=0.007) and patients with a PWD >= 140 (HR, 1.87, 95% CI, 1.06-3.30; P=0.031) had a nearly 2-fold increase in risk with respect to the other group. In the computational model, adenosine yielded a significant reduction of action potential duration 90 (52%) and PWD (7%). An increased sodium conductance (up to 200%) was robustly accompanied by an increase in conduction velocity (26%), a reduction in action potential duration 90 (28%), and PWD (22%).ConclusionsOne out of 5 patients referred for pulmonary vein isolation has a short PWD which was associated with a higher rate of AF after the index procedure. Computer simulations suggest that shortening of atrial action potential duration leading to a faster atrial conduction may be the cause of this clinical observation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number018572
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2021


  • adenosine
  • atrial fibrillation
  • computer modelling
  • conduction
  • electrophysiology
  • p wave
  • predictive-value
  • pulmonary vein isolation
  • risk-factors
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • P wave

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