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Case report: Atrial fibrillation following exposure to ambient air pollution particles
GHIO, A. J., M. BASSETT, T. MONTILLA, W. CASCIO, AND M. S. CARRAWAY. Case report: Atrial fibrillation following exposure to ambient air pollution particles. ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVES. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), Research Triangle Park, NC, 120(2):275-7, (2012).
CONTEXT: Exposure to air pollution can result in the onset of atrial fibrillation
CONTEXT: Exposure to air pollution can result in the onset of atrial fibrillation. CASE PRESENTATION: We present a case of a 58 year old woman who volunteered to participate in a controlled exposure to concentrated ambient particles (CAPs). Twenty minutes into the exposure, there was a new onset of atrial fibrillation. The exposure was discontinued and she reverted to normal sinus rhythm approximately two hours later. No abnormality was evident on the volunteer's laboratory examination and echocardiography which could explain an increased risk for atrial fibrillation. DISCUSSION: Epidemiology defined the association between exposures to air pollutants and cardiovascular disease but this methodology does not permit a description of the clinical presentation in an individual case. This is the only case report of an individual suffering a cardiac arrhythmia following exposure to an air pollutant. The resolution of the arrhythmia with the termination of the particle exposure further supports a causal relationship between the two. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Exposure to air pollution including particulate matter can cause arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation.