Atrial Fibrillation

ECG Features

Figure 1: ECG Strip[1]

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is distinguished by disorganized atrial electrical activity and contraction. The mechanisms underlying AF are not entirely understood but it requires an "initiating event" and "substrate for maintenance."[2]

Table 1: ECG Characteristics[3]

Clinical Significance[4]

  • The majority of AF episodes do not cause symptoms; however, some patients experience symptoms such as palpitations, dyspnea, fatigue, dizziness, and angina.
  • Atrial fibrillation can increase the risk of stroke and heart failure.
  • Calcium-channel blockers or beta-adrenergic blockers can help treat symptomatic patients.
  • Three clinical types of AF can be documented: paroxysmal, persistent, or permanent.

ECM Features

  • Beginning of Atrial Fibrillation

Figure 2a: ECM Analysis, Record 04043[5][6]

  • End of Atrial Fibrillation

Figure 2b: ECM Analysis, Record 04043[5][6]

ECM Examples

1. Additional Examples of Atrial Fibrillation (27)

2. Beginning of Atrial Fibrillation with Aberrated Beats

Figure 3: Record 201[6][7]

Figure 4: Record 202[6][7]

3. Transition from Atrial Fibrillation to Nodal Rhythm

Figure 5: Record 201[6][7]

Additional Information


  1. Atrial Fibrillation [Online image]. (2013). Retrieved July 19, 2016, from
  2. Atrial Fibrillation. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2016, from
  3. Atrial Fibrillation. (n.d.). Retrieved July 27, 2016, from
  4. Atrial Fibrillation Clinical Presentation. (n.d.). Retrieved August 8, 2016, from
  5. MIT-BIH Atrial Fibrillation Database. (1983). Retrieved June, 2016, from
  6. Goldberger AL, Amaral LAN, Glass L, Hausdorff JM, Ivanov PCh, Mark RG, Mietus JE, Moody GB, Peng C-K, Stanley HE. PhysioBank, PhysioToolkit, and PhysioNet: Components of a New Research Resource for Complex Physiologic Signals. Circulation101(23):e215-e220 [Circulation Electronic Pages;]; 2000 (June 13).
  7. MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database. (1980). Retrieved June, 2016, from