Objective Early prediction of atrial fibrillation (AF) development would improve patient outcomes. We propose a simple and cheap ECG based score to predict AF development.
Methods A cohort of 16 316 patients was analysed. ECG measures provided by the computer-assisted ECG software were used to identify patients. A first group included patients in sinus rhythm who showed an ECG with AF at any time later (n=505). A second group included patients with all their ECGs in sinus rhythm (n=15 811). By using a training set (75% of the cohort) the initial sinus rhythm ECGs of both groups were analysed and a predictive risk score based on a multivariate logistic model was constructed.
Results A multivariate regression model was constructed with 32 variables showing a predictive value characterised by an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.776 (95% CI: 0.738 to 0.814). The subsequent risk score included the following variables: age, duration of P-wave in aVF, V4 and V5; duration of T-wave in V3, mean QT interval adjusted for heart rate, transverse P-wave clockwise rotation, transverse P-wave terminal angle and transverse QRS complex terminal vector magnitude. Risk score values ranged from 0 (no risk) to 5 (high risk). The predictive validity of the score reached an AUC of 0.764 (95% CI: 0.722 to 0.806) with a global specificity of 61% and a sensitivity of 55%.
Conclusions The automatic assessment of ECG biomarkers from ECGs in sinus rhythm is able to predict the risk for AF providing a low-cost screening strategy for early detection of this pathology.
- atrial fibrillation
Data availability statement
No data are available.
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AS-G and AC are joint first authors.
GJO and JJ-B are joint senior authors.
GJO and JJ-B contributed equally.
Contributors JJ-B conceived this study. GJO and AS carried out the numerical analysis, JMC collected, selected and provided XML files. JJ-B, AC, JMC and FA evaluated and interpreted numerical results and all ECGs. AS carried out the numerical analysis, performed all the statistical analysis and the literature search. All co-authors produced the initial draft of the manuscript and reviewed the final manuscript version. GJO and JJ-B are guarantors of this paper.
Funding Authors received a research grant from the Carlos III Institute of Health under the health strategy action 2020–2022 with reference PI20/00792.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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