Document Detail

Inability of the signal-averaged electrocardiogram to determine risk of arrhythmia recurrence in patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  1715554     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Signal-averaged electrocardiography has been used to identify patients at risk for arrhythmic death after myocardial infarction. Since patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are at high risk for arrhythmic events, they should also be expected to have a high incidence of abnormal signal-averaged electrocardiograms (SAECGs). However, whether the SAECG can discriminate patients who will have arrhythmia recurrence and receive appropriate ICD shocks from those who will have no recurrence and no shocks is unknown. This study examines the usefulness of the SAECG to separate appropriate users from non-users of the ICD. Fifty patients with ICDs participated in this study. Those who received a shock preceded by symptoms, a shock without preceding symptoms but with electrocardiographic documentation of ventricular fibrillation or ventricular tachycardia, or a shock while asleep were classified as ICD users. All other patients were classified as nonusers. The SAECG was classified as normal if the QRS duration on the standard electrocardiogram was less than or equal to 110 msec and if the total filtered QRS duration was less than 120 msec, the root-mean square voltage of the terminal 40 msec was greater than 25 muV, and the terminal low amplitude signal duration measured less than 38 msec. The SAECG was classified as abnormal if the QRS duration on the standard electrocardiogram was less than or equal to 110 msec and any one of these three criteria were outside the "normal range." The SAECG was classified as indeterminate if the QRS duration on the standard 12-lead electrocardiogram was greater than 110 msec. For the entire group of 50 patients, 8 (16%), 12 (24%), and 30 (60%) had normal, abnormal, and indeterminate SAECGs, respectively. Of the 22 ICD users, 1 (5%), 5 (23%), and 16 (73%) patients had normal, abnormal, and indeterminate SAECGs, respectively. Of the 28 ICD nonusers, 7 (25%), 7 (25%), and 14 (50%) patients had normal, abnormal, and indeterminate SAECGs, respectively. ICD users had lower left ventricular ejection fractions (P = 0.0002), a higher incidence of ventricular tachycardia (P = 0.04), prior exposure to a greater number of antiarrhythmic drugs (P = 0.04), and a lower likelihood for survival (P = 0.02) compared to the ICD nonusers. There was no statistically significant difference between the ICD users and nonusers as stratified by SAECG classification regardless of whether or not the interminate studies were included or excluded from the analysis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
A E Epstein; S M Dailey; R B Shepard; K A Kirk; G N Kay; V J Plumb
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pacing and clinical electrophysiology : PACE     Volume:  14     ISSN:  0147-8389     ISO Abbreviation:  Pacing Clin Electrophysiol     Publication Date:  1991 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1991-10-02     Completed Date:  1991-10-02     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7803944     Medline TA:  Pacing Clin Electrophysiol     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1169-78     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.
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MeSH Terms
Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis,  therapy*
Coronary Disease / complications
Electric Countershock / instrumentation*
Electrocardiography* / methods
Middle Aged
Prostheses and Implants*
Tachycardia / complications,  therapy
Ventricular Fibrillation / complications,  therapy

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