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Atrial fibrillation with symptoms other than palpitations: incremental diagnostic sensitivity with at-home tele-cardiology assessment for emergency medical service.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21502279     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Background: Clinical presentation of atrial fibrillation (AF) is usually represented by palpitations; nevertheless, atypical presentation of AF with symptoms other than palpitations may be not uncommon in elderly patients. This study therefore aimed to evaluate incremental diagnostic value of tele-medicine at-home assessment in patients who called emergency medical service (EMS). Methods: A total of 27,841 consecutive EMS patients referred for suspected heart disease underwent ECG assessment with a mobile ECG-recorder device. ECGs were transmitted with mobile-phone support to a tele-cardiology 'hub' active 24/7 where a cardiologist read the ECGs. Rate of prevalence of AF, age of patients, and symptoms were analysed. Results: AF was diagnosed in 11.67% of patients who underwent ECG examination. Typical symptoms were complained by 6.56% of whole patients, only 14.05% of patients with AF: rate of subjects with AF and typical symptoms significantly decreased with age (<65 years 29.58%, 65-75 years 17.06%, >75 years 10.35%, p < 0.001). Number needed to diagnose an AF with atypical presentation (number needed to treat) decreased from 45 (<65 years) to 9 (65-75 years) and 5 (>75 years) (p < 0.001). Tele-cardiology support increased the rate of at-home diagnosis of AF from two-fold (in 40-year-olds) up to four-fold (60-year-olds) and seven-fold (70-year-olds). Conclusions: AF with symptoms other than palpitations is a common finding in elderly EMS patients. Tele-cardiology support improves the sensitivity of diagnosis of AF in elderly EMS patients and is useful in at-home identification of subjects with AF and atypical presentation.
Natale Daniele Brunetti; Luisa De Gennaro; Pier Luigi Pellegrino; Giulia Dellegrottaglie; Gianfranco Antonelli; Matteo Di Biase
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-4-18
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation : official journal of the European Society of Cardiology, Working Groups on Epidemiology & Prevention and Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Physiology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1741-8275     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-4-19     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101192000     Medline TA:  Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Cardiology Department, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy.
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