Diagnostic criteria

  The presence of two consecutive atrial premature beats.

  The shape of P waves of premature beats is different from that of the sinus P.

  Premature atrial beats are generally conducted to ventricles in a normal fashion

      and resulting in narrow QRS complexes.

  If a premature beat comes very early, it may be conducted to ventricles with aberration

      resulting in a wide QRS complex.





ECG 1. Atrial couplet observed during Holter recording.
The QRS complexes of the premature beats are narrow and have
P waves
with shapes different than those of the sinus beats. To the left, a ventricular premature beat (VPS) is observed with a
full compensatory pause: 632 + 648 = 546 + 734.

Click here for a more detailed ECG





ECG 2. The ECG above was recorded during acute inferior wall myocardial infarction. Atrial couplet is seen.
The
P waves of the atrial extrasystoles have a different configuration than sinus P waves.

Click here for a more detailed ECG





ECG 3. The ECG above belongs to a 64 years-old man with coronary artery disease and paroxysmal attacks of ectopic
atrial tachycardia.
Two consecutive P waves with different shapes ( two consecutive atrial premature beats ) denote atrial couplet.

Click here for a more detailed ECG