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In International heart journal

Asymptomatic recurrences of atrial fibrillation (AF) have been found to be common after ablation.A randomized controlled trial of AF screening using a handheld single-lead ECG monitor (BigThumb®) or a traditional follow-up strategy was conducted in patients with non-valvular AF after catheter ablation. Consecutive patients were randomized to either BigThumb Group (BT Group) or Traditional Follow-up Group (TF Group). The ECGs collected via BigThumb were compared using the automated AF detection algorithm, artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm, and cardiologists' manual review. Subsequent changes in adherence to oral anticoagulation of patients were also recorded. In this study, we examined 218 patients (109 in each group). After a follow-up of 345.4 ± 60.2 days, AF-free survival rate was 64.2% in BT Group and 78.9% in TF Group (P = 0.0163), with more adherence to oral anticoagulation in BT Group (P = 0.0052). The participants in the BT Group recorded 26133 ECGs, among which 3299 (12.6%) were diagnosed as AF by cardiologists' manual review. The sensitivity and specificity of the AI algorithm were 94.4% and 98.5% respectively, which are significantly higher than the automated AF detection algorithm (90.7% and 96.2%).As per our findings, it was determined that follow-up after AF ablation using BigThumb leads to a more frequent detection of AF recurrence and more adherence to oral anticoagulation. AI algorithm improves the accuracy of ECG diagnosis and has the potential to reduce the manual review.

Huang Songqun, Zhao Teng, Liu Chao, Qin Aihong, Dong Shaohua, Yuan Binhang, Xing Wenhui, Guo Zhifu, Huang Xinmiao, Cha Yongmei, Cao Jiang


Artificial intelligence algorithm, BigThumb, Catheter ablation, Follow-up strategy, Rhythm monitoring