Items in AFP with MESH term: Electrocardiography

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Evaluation of Asymptomatic Atrial Fibrillation - FPIN's Clinical Inquiries


Outpatient Diagnosis of Acute Chest Pain in Adults - Article

ABSTRACT: Approximately 1 percent of primary care office visits are for chest pain, and 1.5 percent of these patients will have unstable angina or acute myocardial infarction. The initial goal in patients presenting with chest pain is to determine if the patient needs to be referred for further testing to rule in or out acute coronary syndrome and myocardial infarction. The physician should consider patient characteristics and risk factors to help determine initial risk. Twelve-lead electrocardiography is typically the test of choice when looking for ST segment changes, new-onset left bundle branch block, presence of Q waves, and new-onset T wave inversions. For persons in whom the suspicion for ischemia is lower, other diagnoses to consider include chest wall pain/costochondritis (localized pain reproducible by palpation), gastroesophageal reflux disease (burning retrosternal pain, acid regurgitation, and a sour or bitter taste in the mouth), and panic disorder/anxiety state. Other less common but important diagnostic considerations include pneumonia (fever, egophony, and dullness to percussion), heart failure, pulmonary embolism (consider using the Wells criteria), acute pericarditis, and acute thoracic aortic dissection (acute chest or back pain with a pulse differential in the upper extremities). Persons with a higher likelihood of acute coronary syndrome should be referred to the emergency department or hospital.


Preoperative Testing Before Noncardiac Surgery: Guidelines and Recommendations - Article

ABSTRACT: Preoperative testing (e.g., chest radiography, electrocardiography, laboratory testing, urinalysis) is often performed before surgical procedures. These investigations can be helpful to stratify risk, direct anesthetic choices, and guide postoperative management, but often are obtained because of protocol rather than medical necessity. The decision to order preoperative tests should be guided by the patient’s clinical history, comorbidities, and physical examination findings. Patients with signs or symptoms of active cardiovascular disease should be evaluated with appropriate testing, regardless of their preoperative status. Electrocardiography is recommended for patients undergoing high-risk surgery and those undergoing intermediate-risk surgery who have additional risk factors. Patients undergoing low-risk surgery do not require electrocardiography. Chest radiography is reasonable for patients at risk of postoperative pulmonary complications if the results would change perioperative management. Preoperative urinalysis is recommended for patients undergoing invasive urologic procedures and those undergoing implantation of foreign material. Electrolyte and creatinine testing should be performed in patients with underlying chronic disease and those taking medications that predispose them to electrolyte abnormalities or renal failure. Random glucose testing should be performed in patients at high risk of undiagnosed diabetes mellitus. In patients with diagnosed diabetes, A1C testing is recommended only if the result would change perioperative management. A complete blood count is indicated for patients with diseases that increase the risk of anemia or patients in whom significant perioperative blood loss is anticipated. Coagulation studies are reserved for patients with a history of bleeding or medical conditions that predispose them to bleeding, and for those taking anticoagulants. Patients in their usual state of health who are undergoing cataract surgery do not require preoperative testing.


Sick Sinus Syndrome: A Review - Article

ABSTRACT: Sick sinus syndrome refers to a collection of disorders marked by the heart’s inability to perform its pacemaking function. Predominantly affecting older adults, sick sinus syndrome comprises various arrhythmias, including bradyarrhythmias with or without accompanying tachyarrhythmias. At least 50 percent of patients with sick sinus syndrome develop alternating bradycardia and tachycardia, also known as tachy-brady syndrome. Sick sinus syndrome results from intrinsic causes, or may be exacerbated or mimicked by extrinsic factors. Intrinsic causes include degenerative fibrosis, ion channel dysfunction, and remodeling of the sinoatrial node. Extrinsic factors can be pharmacologic, metabolic, or autonomic. Signs and symptoms are often subtle early on and become more obvious as the disease progresses. They are commonly related to end-organ hypoperfusion. Cerebral hypoperfusion is most common, with syncope or near-fainting occurring in about one-half of patients. Diagnosis may be challenging, and is ultimately made by electrocardiographic identification of the arrhythmia in conjunction with the presence of symptoms. If electrocardiography does not yield a diagnosis, inpatient telemetry monitoring, outpatient Holter monitoring, event monitoring, or loop monitoring may be used. Electrophysiologic studies also may be used but are not routinely needed. Treatment of sick sinus syndrome includes removing extrinsic factors, when possible, and pacemaker placement. Pacemakers do not reduce mortality, but they can decrease symptoms and improve quality of life.


Screening for Coronary Heart Disease with Electrocardiography - Putting Prevention into Practice


Common Questions About Pacemakers - Article

ABSTRACT: Pacemakers are indicated in patients with certain symptomatic bradyarrhythmias caused by sinus node dysfunction, and in those with frequent, prolonged sinus pauses. Patients with third-degree or complete atrioventricular (AV) block benefit from pacemaker placement, as do those with type II second-degree AV block because of the risk of progression to complete AV block. The use of pacemakers in patients with type I second-degree AV block is controversial. Patients with first-degree AV block generally should not receive a pacemaker except when the PR interval is significantly prolonged and the patient is symptomatic. Although some guidelines recommend pacemaker implantation for patients with hypersensitive carotid sinus syndrome, recent evidence has not shown benefit. Some older patients with severe neurocardiogenic syncope may benefit from pacemakers, but most patients with this disorder do not. Cardiac resynchronization therapy improves mortality rates and some other disease-specific measures in patients who have a QRS duration of 150 milliseconds or greater and New York Heart Association class III or IV heart failure. Patients with class II heart failure and a QRS of 150 milliseconds or greater also appear to benefit, but there is insufficient evidence to support the use of cardiac resynchronization therapy in patients with class I heart failure. Cardiac resynchronization therapy in patients with a QRS of 120 to 150 milliseconds does not reduce rates of hospitalization or death.


Acute Pericarditis: Diagnosis and Management - Article

ABSTRACT: Acute pericarditis, inflammation of the pericardium, is found in approximately 5% of patients admitted to the emergency department for chest pain unrelated to acute myocardial infarction. It occurs most often in men 20 to 50 years of age. Acute pericarditis has a number of potential etiologies including infection, acute myocardial infarction, medication use, trauma to the thoracic cavity, and systemic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, most etiologic evaluations are inconclusive. Patients with acute pericarditis commonly present with acute, sharp, retrosternal chest pain that is relieved by sitting or leaning forward. A pericardial friction rub is found in up to 85% of patients. Classic electrocardiographic changes include widespread concave upward ST-segment elevation without reciprocal T-wave inversions or Q waves. First-line treatment includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and colchicine. Glucocorticoids are traditionally reserved for severe or refractory cases, or in cases when the cause of pericarditis is likely connective tissue disease, autoreactivity, or uremia. Cardiology consultation is recommended for patients with severe disease, those with pericarditis refractory to empiric treatment, and those with unclear etiologies.


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