Frequency domain algorithm for quantifying atrial fibrillation organization to increase defibrillation efficacy

Thomas H. Everett IV, Lai Chow Kok, Richard H. Vaughn, J. Randall Moorman, David E. Haines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

146 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that frequency domain analysis of an interatrial atrial fibrillation (AF) electrogram would show a correlation of the variance of the signal and the amplitude of harmonic peaks with the periodicity and morphology (organization) of the AF signal and defibrillation efficacy. We sought to develop an algorithm that would provide a high-resolution measurement of the changes in the spatiotemporal organization of AF. AF was initiated with burst atrial pacing in ten dogs. The atrial defibrillation threshold (ADFT50) was determined, and defibrillation was repeated at the ADFT50. Bipolar electrograms from the shocking electrodes were acquired immediately preshock, digitally filtered, and a FFT was performed. The organization index (OI) was calculated as the ratio of the area under the first four harmonic peaks to the total area of the spectrum. For a 4-s window, the mean OI was 0.505 ± 0.087 for successful shocks, versus 0.352 ± 0.068 for unsuccessful shocks (p < 0.001). Receiver operator characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was used to determine the optimal sampling window for predicting successful shocks. The area of the ROC curve was 0.8 for a 1-s window, and improved to 0.9 for a 4-s window. We conclude that the spectrum of an AF signal contains information relating to its organization, and can be used in predicting a successful defibrillation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)969-978
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 3 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Defibrillation
  • Fourier analysis
  • Tachyarrhythmia organization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering

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