Published: 2017-02-20

The clinical and etiological profile of atrial fibrillation after echocardiography in a tertiary care centre from North India - a cross sectional observational study

Ranvijay Singh, Rajesh Kashyap, Rajeev Bhardwaj, Rajeev Marwaha, Manish Thakur, Thakur Prashant Singh, Ritesh Kalawar, Soni Kumar


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained arrhythmia in clinical practice. In western countries, rheumatic heart disease (RHD) is a rare cause of atrial fibrillation but in developing countries like India it is one of the commonest cause of atrial fibrillation. We studied etiology, left atrial size and the incidence of left atrial appendage clot in patients with atrial fibrillation at our institution so that guidelines could be formulated to manage the patients of AF in the hours of emergency.

Methods: 110 consecutive patients of atrial fibrillation coming to emergency, cardiology and medicine outpatient department over a period of one year were enrolled for the study. Ethical committee clearance was taken. Detailed history were taken, clinical presentation reviewed  and examination were carried out. All patients were subjected to transthoracic echocardiography and for transesophageal echocardiography if required.

Results: The mean age of patients in the study was 58.42±14.27 years (range 22-90 years). Maximum numbers of patients were in the age group of 61-70 years (26.37%). Out of 110 patients with atrial fibrillation, 72 patients (65.46%) were females and 38 patients (34.54%) were males. Majority of patients presented with more than one symptom. Out of 110, 66 patients (60%) had RHD. Among RHD patients, 50 patients (45.55%) were females and 16 patients (14.55%) were males. Next common causes were hypertensive heart disease and degenerative valvular heart disease.

Conclusions: In our study RHD was the most common cause of atrial fibrillation, followed by hypertensive heart disease and degenerative valvular heart disease. Mitral valve involvement was seen in all patients of RHD. Left atrial enlargement was seen in majority of patients, so left atrial enlargement could be a predictor of atrial fibrillation. Patients of left atrial enlargement are more prone to develop left atrial appendage clot.


Atrial fibrillation, Subhimalayan region

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