Frequency of Serious Arrhythmias Detected With Ambulatory Cardiac Telemetry

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Ambulatory cardiac telemetry has been shown to be effective in establishing diagnoses in patients with suspected arrhythmias. A critical component of ambulatory telemetry is the immediate transfer of rhythm information to a central monitoring station without requiring patient action. The frequency with which potentially life-threatening events are detected using ambulatory telemetry has not previously been evaluated in a large patient population. All patients (n = 26,438) who underwent monitoring from April to December 2008 at a single service provider formed the patient population of this study. Arrhythmic events noted in these patients were defined as those requiring physician notification and those that represented potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. Of the 26,438 patients included in the study, 5,459 (21%) had arrhythmic events meeting physician notification criteria during a mean monitoring period of 21 days. Of these, 262 patients (1%) had arrhythmic events that could potentially be classified as emergent. These included 120 patients with wide complex tachycardia ≥15 beats at ≥120 beats/min, 100 patients with pauses ≥6 seconds, and 42 patients with sustained heart rates <30 beats/min. An additional 704 patients (3%) had narrow complex tachycardia ≥180 beats/min at rest. In conclusion, approximately 1% of patients who underwent ambulatory telemetry for routine clinical indications experienced life-threatening arrhythmic events over a 3-week monitoring period. Ambulatory cardiac telemetry could be potentially lifesaving in this group of patients. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Kadish, A. H., Reiffel, J. A., Clauser, J., Prater, S., Menard, M., & Kopelman, H. (2010). Frequency of Serious Arrhythmias Detected With Ambulatory Cardiac Telemetry. American Journal of Cardiology, 105(9), 1313–1316.

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