Diagnostic and prognostic value of electrophysiologic study in patients with nondocumented palpitations

Ermengol Vallès, Julio Martí-Almor, Victor Bazan, Fabiola Suarez, Debora Cian, Laura Portillo, Jordi Bruguera-Cortada

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    10 Citations (Scopus)


    The 12-lead electrocardiogram helps to define the arrhythmic mechanism in patients with palpitations. However, in the setting of nondocumented palpitations the value of the electrophysiologic study (EPS) needs additional investigation. We investigated the utility of the EPS in patients with nondocumented palpitations. A total of 172 patients with normal electrocardiographic findings and nondocumented palpitations underwent an EPS. The clinical and electrophysiologic characteristics were assessed. The symptoms were long-lasting (>5 minutes) in 56%. Sudden onset was present in 99%, and termination was rapid in 65%. Neck palpitations were reported in 36%. The EPS findings were normal in 86 patients (50%); atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia was induced in 43, orthodromic reentrant tachycardia in 9, and nonsustained atrial tachycardia/fibrillation (AT/AF) in 34. Long-lasting episodes, sudden termination, and neck palpitations predicted positive EPS findings and were associated with reentrant supraventricular tachycardia (p <0.001). The induction of AT/AF was associated with age >50 years and structural heart disease (p <0.001). After 53 ± 36 months of follow-up, 92% of patients with negative EPS findings were symptom free. Only 32% of patients with induced AT/AF remained free of symptoms (p <0.001). The recurrence of palpitations was more prevalent among patients with structural heart disease and aged >50 years (p <0.001). In conclusion, 50% of patients with nondocumented palpitations had positive EPS findings. A long duration, sudden termination, and neck palpitations, together with structural heart disease and age >50 years, predicted tachycardia inducibility and recurrence and could help in selecting patients suitable for EPS and ablation. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1333-1337
    JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2011


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