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Long QT interval

Bigeminal Rhythm With Aberrant Conduction

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 20:09 -- Dawn

This ECG is a good example of sinus rhythm with aberrantly-conducted PACs.  The tracing was donated to the ECG Guru several years ago by Dr. Ahmed from Sanjiban Hospital in India.  We have no patient data for this tracing. 

The underlying rhythm here is normal sinus rhythm. Most of the parameters – rate, PR interval, and QRS duration – are normal.  The QTc interval, which is the QT interval corrected to a rate of 60 bpm, is prolonged at 568 ms.  We do not know the patient’s clinical condition or medications, so we cannot guess at the reason.  However, a prolonged QTc is associated with an increased risk of Torsades de pointes, a type of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia. 

The first three beats appear the same (Leads I, II, and III).  However, the first R-to-R interval is shorter than the second one.  This could be due to rate variation, a concealed sinus block, or a premature atrial contraction (PAC).   The P wave of the “early” beat, marked #1, looks slightly different from the other P waves in Lead II, but, because of the slow rate, there is no way to be sure without a longer rhythm strip.  After the possible PAC, the rhythm becomes coupled, probably atrial bigeminy, where every other beat is a PAC.  There are several mechanisms that cause grouped beating, but atrial ectopic bigeminy is the most common. Normally, PACs have different-looking P waves compared to the sinus beats.  In this ECG, the P waves are often buried in the preceding T waves, and are hard to evaluate. 

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