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      A new approach to the differential diagnosis of a regular tachycardia with a wide QRS complex.

      1 , 1 , 1 , 1 , 1
      Circulation
      Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)

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          Abstract

          In the differential diagnosis of a tachycardia with a wide QRS complex (greater than or equal to 0.12 second) diagnostic mistakes are frequent. Therefore, we investigated the reasons for failure of presently available criteria, and we identified new, simpler criteria and incorporated them in a stepwise approach that provides better sensitivity and specificity for making a correct diagnosis. A prospective analysis revealed that current criteria had a poor specificity for the differential diagnosis. The value of four new criteria incorporated in a stepwise approach was prospectively analyzed in a total of 554 tachycardias with a widened QRS complex (384 ventricular and 170 supraventricular). The sensitivity of the four consecutive steps was 0.987, and the specificity was 0.965. Current criteria for the differential diagnosis between supraventricular tachycardia with aberrant conduction and ventricular tachycardia are frequently absent or suggest the wrong diagnosis. The absence of an RS complex in all precordial leads is easily recognizable and highly specific for the diagnosis of ventricular tachycardia. When an RS complex is present in one or more precordial leads, an RS interval of more than 100 msec is highly specific for ventricular tachycardia. This new stepwise approach may prevent diagnostic mistakes.

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          Electrocardiographic criteria for ventricular tachycardia in wide complex left bundle branch block morphology tachycardias.

          Four electrocardiographic criteria for ventricular tachycardia (VT) were proposed and evaluated. These included (1) an R wave in V1 or V2 of greater than 30-ms duration; (2) any Q wave in V6; (3) a duration of greater than 60 ms from the onset of the QRS to the nadir of the S wave in V1 or V2 and (4) notching on the downstroke of the S wave in V1 or V2. The data showed that all 4 criteria had high predictive accuracy (96 to 100%) and specificity (94 to 100%). The relatively low sensitivities of the 4 criteria alone (30 to 64%) might limit their efficacy. Grouped criteria, however, could differentiate VT from supraventricular tachycardias with high sensitivity, specificity and predictive accuracy. The amount of tracings having either electrocardiographic criteria (1) or (2) or (3) or (4) was determined. The proposed combined criteria had a sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 89% and a predictive accuracy of 96%. Left axis deviation alone was of no value in distinguishing VT from supraventricular tachycardia. Characteristic patterns were present for left bundle branch block pattern VT associated with anterior and inferior myocardial infarction. In conclusion, the 12-lead electrocardiogram alone, when systematically analyzed, can be used to accurately diagnose the origin of wide complex tachycardias with left bundle branch block pattern. Attention to these criteria may lead to more rapid and effective therapy.
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            The value of the electrocardiogram in the differential diagnosis of a tachycardia with a widened QRS complex

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              Wide complex tachycardia: misdiagnosis and outcome after emergent therapy.

              The extent and consequence of misdiagnosis of wide complex tachycardia (QRS, 120 ms or more; heart rate, 100 or more beats/min) presenting emergently were assessed. Forty-six consecutive episodes of wide complex tachycardia were reviewed and their tachycardia mechanisms subsequently established. All 8 episodes of supraventricular tachycardia with aberrant conduction were correctly diagnosed, whereas 15 of 38 episodes of ventricular tachycardia (39%) were misdiagnosed as supraventricular tachycardia at the time initial therapy was given. Ventriculoatrial dissociation was evident in 11 (73%) of the electrocardiograms of misdiagnosed ventricular tachycardia. Patients with misdiagnosed episodes had poorer outcomes than those with episodes correctly diagnosed (p = 0.0003). Verapamil was administered to patients in 13 of the 15 episodes of misdiagnosed ventricular tachycardia; hemodynamic deterioration occurred in all 13 episodes. Wide complex tachycardia is often incorrectly diagnosed as supraventricular tachycardia when, in fact, the 12-lead electrocardiogram strongly suggests ventricular tachycardia. Verapamil is commonly administered in these circumstances and is frequently associated with a poor outcome.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Circulation
                Circulation
                Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
                0009-7322
                1524-4539
                May 1991
                May 1991
                : 83
                : 5
                : 1649-1659
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Cardiovascular Center, Postgraduate School of Cardiology, OLV Hospital, Aalst, Belgium.
                Article
                10.1161/01.CIR.83.5.1649
                2022022
                fe0c2499-4b4b-4d3d-8cd5-61ea21cda643
                © 1991
                History

                Molecular medicine,Neurosciences
                Molecular medicine, Neurosciences

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