Atrial fibrillation (Afib)

For the population at large hypertension is the most important risk factor for atrial fibrillation (Afib). The presence of Afib leads to a 2 to 5 fold increased of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, in particular, it increases the risk of getting stroke [1]. Detection of atrial fibrillation is highly important as starting treatment in an early stadium significantly reduces the risk of getting cardiovascular events in future. In addition, it can influence the decision of which antihypertensive treatment the patient will receive [1].

The Afib detection system

For reasons as described above it is important to detect Afib at your patient. This can be done by either by ECG or palpation. However, the ECG is expensive and labor intensive whereas palpation is not very reliable[2].

By implementing an Afib detection system in some of their blood pressure monitors Microlife comes up with a convenient, easy and reliable solution for detection of Afib.

Accuracy of the Afib detection system

The accuracy of the Afib detection system has been investigated in two clinical studies [3, 4]. Both studies showed that the Afib detection system is very accurate. Stergiou et al. showed that by taking 3 measurements and 2 of them required to detect Afib the sensitivity was 100% and specificity 89% (kappa 0.86 for agreement with ECG). Wiesel et al. found with the same method a sensitivity of 97% and a specificity of 89%.

This means that during blood pressure measurement atrial fibrillation is detected without any extra efforts: easy, convenient and reliable.

Devices with Afib detection system

The Afib detection system is implemented in the WatchBP Office  Afib and the WatchBP Office ABI devices developed for use in clinical practice but also in the self-measurement device for follow-up of hypertensive patients WatchBP Home A


  1. Mancia G,  De Backer G,  Dominiczak A,  Cifkova R,  Fagard R,  Germano G, et al. 2007 Guidelines for the Management of Arterial Hypertension: The Task Force for the Management of Arterial Hypertension of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) and of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). J Hypertens 2007; 25: 1105-1187.
  2. Hobbs FD,  Fitzmaurice DA,  Mant J,  Murray E,  Jowett S,  Bryan S, et al. A randomised controlled trial and cost-effectiveness study of systematic screening (targeted and total population screening) versus routine practice for the detection of atrial fibrillation in people aged 65 and over. The SAFE study. Health Technol Assess 2005; 9: iii-iv, ix-x, 1-74.
  3. Stergiou GS, Karpettas N, Protogerou A, Nasothimiou EG, Kyriakidis M. Diagnostic accuracy of a home blood pressure monitor to detect atrial fibrillation. J Hum Hypertens 2009;
  4. Wiesel J, Fitzig L, Herschman Y, Messineo FC. Detection of Atrial Fibrillation Using a Modified Microlife Blood Pressure Monitor. Am J Hypertens 2009;