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CiteWeb id: 20090000018

CiteWeb score: 8906

DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199809033391003

Background Atrial fibrillation, the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia and a major cause of stroke, results from simultaneous reentrant wavelets. Its spontaneous initiation has not been studied. Methods We studied 45 patients with frequent episodes of atrial fibrillation (mean [±SD] duration, 344±326 minutes per 24 hours) refractory to drug therapy. The spontaneous initiation of atrial fibrillation was mapped with the use of multielectrode catheters designed to record the earliest electrical activity preceding the onset of atrial fibrillation and associated atrial ectopic beats. The accuracy of the mapping was confirmed by the abrupt disappearance of triggering atrial ectopic beats after ablation with local radio-frequency energy. Results A single point of origin of atrial ectopic beats was identified in 29 patients, two points of origin were identified in 9 patients, and three or four points of origin were identified in 7 patients, for a total of 69 ectopic foci. Three foci were in the right atrium...

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