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J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2007 Mar;18(3):241-7.

The diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmias: a prospective multi-center randomized study comparing mobile cardiac outpatient telemetry versus standard loop event monitoring.

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Lankenau Hospital and Institute for Medical Research/Main Line Health Heart Center, Wynnewood, PA, USA.



Ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring systems are frequently used in the outpatient evaluation of symptoms suggestive of a cardiac arrhythmia; however, they have a low yield in the identification of clinically significant but infrequent, brief, and/or intermittently symptomatic arrhythmias. The purpose of this study was to compare the relative value of a mobile cardiac outpatient telemetry system (MCOT) with a patient-activated external looping event monitor (LOOP) for symptoms thought to be due to an arrhythmia.


The study was a 17-center prospective clinical trial with patients randomized to either LOOP or MCOT for up to 30 days. Subjects with symptoms of syncope, presyncope, or severe palpitations who had a nondiagnostic 24-hour Holter monitor were randomized. The primary endpoint was the confirmation or exclusion of a probable arrhythmic cause of their symptoms. A total of 266 patients who completed the monitoring period were analyzed. A diagnosis was made in 88% of MCOT subjects compared with 75% of LOOP subjects (P = 0.008). In a subgroup of patients presenting with syncope or presyncope, a diagnosis was made in 89% of MCOT subjects versus 69% of LOOP subjects (P = 0.008). MCOT was superior in confirming the diagnosis of clinical significant arrhythmias, detecting such events in 55 of 134 patients (41%) compared with 19 of 132 patients (15%) in the LOOP group (P < 0.001).


MCOT provided a significantly higher yield than standard cardiac loop recorders in patients with symptoms suggestive of a significant cardiac arrhythmia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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