May 1968

Atrial Fibrillation in Atrial Septal Defect

Author Affiliations

Salt Lake City

From the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah College of Medicine (Drs. Tikoff, Schmidt, and Hecht), and Veterans Administration Hospital (Dr. Tikoff), Salt Lake City. Doctor Hecht is now at the University of Chicago. Doctor Schmidt was a John and Mary Markle Scholar in Academic Medicine and is now with the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Intern Med. 1968;121(5):402-405. doi:10.1001/archinte.1968.03640050012003

Atrial fibrillation was found in 19% of a series of 32 adults with large atrial septal defects. This confirms the previously held impression that atrial fibrillation is not uncommon in older patients with this lesion. Atrial fibrillation, in the presence of a large atrial septal defect, correlates well with left atrial pressure elevation and left atrial enlargement. The presence of atrial fibrillation, in the face of an isolated, large atrial septal defect, may be considered evidence for left ventricular failure. Advancing age appears to be an additional factor correlating with the presence of atrial fibrillation. Other factors may occasionally precipitate atrial arrhythmias.