• paroxysmal atrial fibrillation;
  • interatrial mechanical delay;
  • intraatrial mechanical delay;
  • tissue Doppler imaging;
  • P-wave dispersion

Objectives: There are some clinical and echocardiographic parameters to predict paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PAF), but more sensitive predictors are needed. Tissue Doppler imaging may be a sensitive method for this purpose. Methods: Thirty-four patients with PAF and 31 control subjects were studied. Time intervals from the beginning of P-wave to beginning of A-wave from lateral and septal mitral and right ventricular tricuspid annuli in tissue Doppler imaging were recorded. The differences between these intervals gave the mechanical delays between/within the corresponding atria. Results: There were no differences between groups with regard to age. PAF patients were found to have increased left atrial dimension and intra-left atrial mechanical delay. Twenty-five milliseconds was calculated as cutoff value to predict PAF. P-wave dispersion was found to be increased in PAF. Conclusions: This study shows an increase in intra-left atrial mechanical delay in PAF patients. This method can be used as an early marker to detect PAF.