Items in AFP with MESH term: Electrocardiography

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Costochondritis: Diagnosis and Treatment - Article

ABSTRACT: Costochondritis, an inflammation of costochondral junctions of ribs or chondrosternal joints of the anterior chest wall, is a common condition seen in patients presenting to the physician's office and emergency department. Palpation of the affected chondrosternal joints of the chest wall elicits tenderness. Although costochondritis is usually self-limited and benign, it should be distinguished from other, more serious causes of chest pain. Coronary artery disease is present in 3 to 6 percent of adult patients with chest pain and chest wall tenderness to palpation. History and physical examination of the chest that document reproducible pain by palpation over the costal cartilages are usually all that is needed to make the diagnosis in children, adolescents, and young adults. Patients older than 35 years, those with a history or risk of coronary artery disease, and any patient with cardiopulmonary symptoms should have an electrocardiograph and possibly a chest radiograph. Consider further testing to rule out cardiac causes if clinically indicated by age or cardiac risk status. Clinical trials of treatment are lacking. Traditional practice is to treat with acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory medications where safe and appropriate, advise patients to avoid activities that produce chest muscle overuse, and provide reassurance.


Can ECG Rule Out ACS if Performed While the Patient Is Having Chest Pain? - AFP Journal Club


Electrocardiographic Manifestations and Differential Diagnosis of Acute Pericarditis - Article

ABSTRACT: Acute pericarditis has many potential etiologies and typically presents as a sharp central chest pain that worsens with recumbency and is relieved by leaning forward. The pathognomonic physical finding of acute pericarditis is the pericardial friction rub, which is usually auscultated along the lower left sternal border. The electrocardiogram (ECG) is a useful, simple tool that may aid in the diagnosis of acute pericarditis. Typical ECG findings include diffuse concave-upward ST-segment elevation and, occasionally, PR-segment depression. ECG changes of both acute myocardial infarction and early repolarization can appear similar to ECG changes of acute pericarditis. However, these conditions can usually be excluded by an accurate history, physical examination and recognition of a few key features on the ECG.


A Subtle ECG - Photo Quiz


Interpretation of the Electronic Fetal Heart Rate During Labor - Article

ABSTRACT: Electronic fetal heart rate monitoring is commonly used to assess fetal well-being during labor. Although detection of fetal compromise is one benefit of fetal monitoring, there are also risks, including false-positive tests that may result in unnecessary surgical intervention. Since variable and inconsistent interpretation of fetal heart rate tracings may affect management, a systematic approach to interpreting the patterns is important. The fetal heart rate undergoes constant and minute adjustments in response to the fetal environment and stimuli. Fetal heart rate patterns are classified as reassuring, nonreassuring or ominous. Nonreassuring patterns such as fetal tachycardia, bradycardia and late decelerations with good short-term variability require intervention to rule out fetal acidosis. Ominous patterns require emergency intrauterine fetal resuscitation and immediate delivery. Differentiating between a reassuring and nonreassuring fetal heart rate pattern is the essence of accurate interpretation, which is essential to guide appropriate triage decisions.


Right Ventricular Infarction: Specific Requirements of Management - Article

ABSTRACT: The principal cause of right ventricular infarction is atherosclerotic proximal occlusion of the right coronary artery. Proximal occlusion of this artery leads to electrocardiographically identifiable right-heart ischemia and an increased risk of death in the presence of acute inferior infarction. Clinical recognition begins with the ventricular electrocardiographic manifestations: inferior left ventricular ischemia (ST segment elevation in leads II, III and aVF), with or without accompanying abnormal Q waves and right ventricular ischemia (ST segment elevation in right chest leads V3R through V6R and ST segment depression in anterior leads V2 through V4). Associated findings may include atrial infarction (PR segment displacement, elevation or depression in leads II, III and aVF), symptomatic sinus bradycardia, atrioventricular node block and atrial fibrillation. Hemodynamic effects of right ventricular dysfunction may include failure of the right ventricle to pump sufficient blood through the pulmonary circuit to the left ventricle, with consequent systemic hypotension. Management is directed toward recognition of right ventricular infarction, reperfusion, volume loading, rate and rhythm control, and inotropic support.


Current Management of Mitral Valve Prolapse - Article

ABSTRACT: Mitral valve prolapse is a pathologic anatomic and physiologic abnormality of the mitral valve apparatus affecting mitral leaflet motion. "Mitral valve prolapse syndrome" is a term often used to describe a constellation of mitral valve prolapse and associated symptoms or other physical abnormalities such as autonomic dysfunction, palpitations and pectus excavatum. The importance of recognizing that mitral valve prolapse may occur as an isolated disorder or with other coincident findings has led to the use of both terms. Mitral valve prolapse syndrome, which occurs in 3 to 6 percent of Americans, is caused by a systolic billowing of one or both mitral leaflets into the left atrium, with or without mitral regurgitation. It is often discovered during routine cardiac auscultation or when echocardiography is performed for another reason. Most patients with mitral valve prolapse are asymptomatic. Those who have symptoms commonly report chest discomfort, anxiety, fatigue and dyspnea, but whether these are actually due to mitral valve prolapse is not certain. The principal physical finding is a midsystolic click, which frequently is followed by a late systolic murmur. Although echocardiography is the most useful mode for identifying mitral valve prolapse, it is not recommended as a screening tool for mitral valve prolapse in patients who have no systolic click or murmur on careful auscultation. Mitral valve prolapse has a benign prognosis and a complication rate of 2 percent per year. The progression of mitral regurgitation may cause dilation of the left-sided heart chambers. Infective endocarditis is a potential complication. Patients with mitral valve prolapse syndrome who have murmurs and/or thickened redundant leaflets seen on echocardiography should receive antibiotic prophylaxis against endocarditis.


Evaluation of Chest Pain in Primary Care Patients - Point-of-Care Guides


Atrial Fibrillation: Diagnosis and Treatment - Article

ABSTRACT: Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia. It impairs cardiac function and increases the risk of stroke. The incidence of atrial fibrillation increases with age. Key treatment issues include deciding when to restore normal sinus rhythm, when to control rate only, and how to prevent thromboembolism. Rate control is the preferred management option in most patients. Rhythm control is an option for patients in whom rate control cannot be achieved or who have persistent symptoms despite rate control. The current recommendation for strict rate control is a resting heart rate of less than 80 beats per minute. However, one study has shown that more lenient rate control of less than 110 beats per minute while at rest was not inferior to strict rate control in preventing cardiac death, heart failure, stroke, and life-threatening arrhythmias. Anticoagulation therapy is needed with rate control and rhythm control to prevent stroke. Warfarin is superior to aspirin and clopidogrel in preventing stroke despite its narrow therapeutic range and increased risk of bleeding. Tools that predict the risk of stroke (e.g., CHADS2) and the risk of bleeding (e.g., Outpatient Bleeding Risk Index) are helpful in making decisions about anticoagulation therapy. Surgical options for atrial fibrillation include disruption of abnormal conduction pathways in the atria, and obliteration of the left atrial appendage. Catheter ablation is an option for restoring normal sinus rhythm in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and normal left atrial size. Referral to a cardiologist is warranted in patients who have complex cardiac disease; who are symptomatic on or unable to tolerate pharmacologic rate control; or who may be candidates for ablation or surgical interventions.


Causes and Evaluation of Chronic Dyspnea - Article

ABSTRACT: Chronic dyspnea is shortness of breath that lasts more than one month. The perception of dyspnea varies based on behavioral and physiologic responses. Dyspnea that is greater than expected with the degree of exertion is a symptom of disease. Most cases of dyspnea result from asthma, heart failure and myocardial ischemia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung disease, pneumonia, or psychogenic disorders. The etiology of dyspnea is multifactorial in about one-third of patients. The clinical presentation alone is adequate to make a diagnosis in 66 percent of patients with dyspnea. Patients’ descriptions of the sensation of dyspnea may be helpful, but associated symptoms and risk factors, such as smoking, chemical exposures, and medication use, should also be considered. Examination findings (e.g., jugular venous distention, decreased breath sounds or wheezing, pleural rub, clubbing) may be helpful in making the diagnosis. Initial testing in patients with chronic dyspnea includes chest radiography, electrocardiography, spirometry, complete blood count, and basic metabolic panel. Measurement of brain natriuretic peptide levels may help exclude heart failure, and D-dimer testing may help rule out pulmonary emboli. Pulmonary function studies can be used to identify emphysema and interstitial lung diseases. Computed tomography of the chest is the most appropriate imaging study for diagnosing suspected pulmonary causes of chronic dyspnea. To diagnose pulmonary arterial hypertension or certain interstitial lung diseases, right heart catheterization or bronchoscopy may be needed.


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