Hendrikx T et al.:Intermittent short ECG recording is more effective than 24-hour Holter ECG in detection of arrhythmias. BMC Cardiovasc Disord 14 (2014):41.
Studie aus der Universität Umeå (Schweden): Bei 95 Patienten im Alter von durchschnittlich 54.1 Jahren, die wegen Palpitationen, Schwindel oder Präsynkope die Notaufnahme aufsuchten, konnten Rhythmusstörungen mittels LZ-EKG in drei Fällen (2x Vorhofflimmern, 1x AV-Block II) und mittels intermittierendem 1-Kanal-EKG (Zenicor EKG bei Symptomen und 2x tgl. über 28 Tage) in 13 Fällen (9x Vorhofflimmern, 3x paroxysmale SV-Tachykardien, 1x AV-Block II) dokumentiert werden.
Background: Many patients report symptoms of palpitations or dizziness/presyncope. These patients are often referred for 24-hour Holter ECG, although the sensitivity for detecting relevant arrhythmias is comparatively low. Intermittent short ECG recording over a longer time period might be a convenient and more sensitive alternative. The objective of this study is to compare the efficacy of 24-hour Holter ECG with intermittent short ECG recording over four weeks to detect relevant arrhythmias in patients with palpitations or dizziness/presyncope.
Methods: Design: prospective, observational, cross-sectional study. Setting: Clinical Physiology, University Hospital. Patients: 108 consecutive patients referred for ambiguous palpitations or dizziness/presyncope. Interventions: All individuals underwent a 24-hour Holter ECG and additionally registered 30-second handheld ECG (Zenicor EKG® thumb) recordings at home, twice daily and when having cardiac symptoms, during 28 days. Main outcome measures: Significant arrhythmias: atrial fibrillation (AF), paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT), atrioventricular (AV) block II–III, sinus arrest (SA), wide complex tachycardia (WCT).
Results: 95 patients, 42 men and 53 women with a mean age of 54.1 years, completed registrations. Analysis of Holter registrations showed atrial fibrillation (AF) in two patients and atrioventricular (AV) block II in one patient
(= 3.2% relevant arrhythmias [95% CI 1.1–8.9]). Intermittent handheld ECG detected nine patients with AF, three with paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) and one with AV-block-II (= 13.7% relevant arrhythmias [95% CI 8.2–22.0]). There was a significant difference between the two methods in favour of intermittent ECG with regard to the ability to detect relevant arrhythmias (P = 0.0094). With Holter ECG, no symptoms were registered during any of the detected arrhythmias. With intermittent ECG, symptoms were registered during half of the arrhythmia episodes.
Conclusions: Intermittent short ECG recording during four weeks is more effective in detecting AF and PSVT in patients with ambiguous symptoms arousing suspicions of arrhythmia than 24-hour Holter ECG.