Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Meredith Wold


Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia and is particularly prevalent in the elderly population. It is associated with an elevated stroke risk which can be easily minimized with anticoagulation. However, AF detection is often difficult due to infrequent or absent symptoms and the first presentation of AF may be a stroke. Advances in technology have made screening for AF more feasible and accessible. Opportunistic screening with pulse palpation and confirmatory ECG is now strongly supported by the evidence and more recent studies have demonstrated that systematic screening – particularly of those with AF risk factors – may be cost effective.

A systematic review was conducted of the literature pertaining to AF screening guidelines and AF detection methods, including pulse palpation, 12-lead ECG, Holter monitors, wearable loop recorders, patch monitors (e.g. Zio patch), ambulatory telemetry, implantable cardiac monitors, single-lead mobile ECG devices, advanced blood pressure monitors, and smartphone photoplethysmography. The best options for screening were discussed and a screening program was proposed. Additional goals and concerns relevant to the future of AF screening were noted.



Included in

Cardiology Commons