Assessment of global atrial fibrillation organization to optimize timing of atrial defibrillation

Thomas H. Everett IV, J. Randall Moorman, Lai Chow Kok, Joseph G. Akar, David E. Haines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

98 Scopus citations


Background - We hypothesized that frequency domain analysis of a wide bipolar interatrial electrogram describes the global organization of atrial fibrillation (AF) and should vary over time. By timing shocks to periods of high organization of AF, cardioversion efficacy should improve. Methods and Results - A total of 15 dogs (weight, 28.2±3.4 kg) were rapidly paced for 48 to 72 hours to induce AF. Coil electrodes with a surface area of 1.80 cm2 were then placed in the left and right atria to form a wide bipole. Wide bipolar electrograms were digitally filtered, and a fast Fourier transform was performed over a sliding 2-s window every 0.5 s. The organization index (OI) was calculated as the ratio of the area of the dominant peak and its harmonics to the total area of the magnitude spectrum. The atrial defibrillation threshold (ADFT50) was determined using a 3-ms/3-ms biphasic shock and an up-down-up protocol. Additional shocks with higher and lower energies were delivered in a random sequence to develop a distribution curve. The OI varied over time, with a mean of 0.42±0.03, a maximum of 0.65±0.07, and a minimum of 0.20±0.06. The OI changed rapidly, with durations of high organization (OI>0.5) ranging from 1 to 5 s. The ADFT50 for QRS complex-synchronized shocks was 183±56 V, versus 142±49 V for shocks synchronized to an OI>0.5 (P<0.001). The distribution curve shifted leftward when shocks were synchronized to an OI>0.5. Conclusions - AF signals show a high degree of variability. Shock efficacy is increased when shocks are delivered during periods of high AF organization as determined by the OI method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2857-2861
Number of pages5
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 12 2001


  • Arrhythmia
  • Defibrillation
  • Fibrillation
  • Fourier analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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