Occurrence of atrial fibrillation in pacemaker patients and its association with sleep apnea and heart rate variability

Published: 26 July 2019
Author(s): Andrea Mazza, Maria Grazia Bendini, Sergio Valsecchi, Mariolina Lovecchio, Massimo Leggio, Raffaele De Cristofaro, Giuseppe Boriani
Issue: July 2019
Section: Original Article

Sleep apnea (SA) is a risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF) occurrence. Sympathovagal imbalance is a mechanism that predisposes to the development of AF and that occurs in SA. Some pacemakers can detect SA events and continuously measure a time domain measure of heart rate variability (HRV), i.e. the standard deviation of 5-min median atrial–atrial sensed intervals (SDANN). We evaluated the association between the occurrence of AF and device-detected SA and SDANN in patients who received pacemakers.