Clinical Epidemiology and Ageing

Atrial fibrillation detection with long-term continuous Holter ECG recording in patients with high cardiovascular risk and clinical palpitations: the prospective after study.

Halimi F, Sabouret P, Huberman JP, Ouazana L, Guedj D, Djouadi K, Dhanjal TS, Goette A, Lafont C, Lellouche N Clin Res Cardiol. 2023;112(6):807-814.

AIM: New technologic tools for continuous ECG monitoring have been developed to detect and treat atrial fibrillation (AF) in specific populations with high cardiovascular risk. We evaluated the prevalence and the management of AF diagnosed in patients with high cardiovascular risk and non-documented clinical palpitation undergoing systematic 14-day continuous ECG-Holter monitoring.

METHODS: Patients were prospectively enrolled from December 2019 to December 2021 in this multicentre study, sponsored by the French National College of Cardiology. Patients met the following criteria: CHADSVASc score ≥ 2 in males and ≥ 3 in females and clinical palpitations without previously documented arrhythmia. Enrolled patients underwent a continuous 14-day Holter-ECG monitoring for arrhythmia detection.

RESULTS: Among the 336 included patients, 39% were male, 75% were greater than 65 years of age and 46.5% had suffered a prior stroke. AF was detected in 14% of patients, among which 23.4% were detected in the first 24 h of monitoring. Finally, age ≥ 65 years (p = 0.037) was significantly associated with AF, as well as male gender (p = 0.023) and a lower rate of antiplatelet therapy (p = 0.018). Patients with diagnosed AF had a prescription of anticoagulation therapy in 90%. Antiarrhythmic drugs were administered in 90% of AF patients and 13% underwent AF ablation.

CONCLUSIONS: The systematic AF screening of patients with palpitations and high cardiovascular risk resulted in a diagnostic yield of AF in 14% of the population with a 14-day continuous ECG-Holter monitor. This strategy resulted in the prescription of anticoagulation and antiarrhythmic therapy in 90% of the AF detected population.

MeSH terms: Aged; Anti-Arrhythmia Agents; Atrial Fibrillation; Cardiovascular Diseases; Electrocardiography; Electrocardiography, Ambulatory; Female; Heart Disease Risk Factors; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Prospective Studies; Risk Factors; Stroke
DOI: 10.1007/s00392-022-02109-9