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Am J Perinatol. 2013 Jan;30(1):53-8. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1321500. Epub 2012 Jul 16.

Ambulatory arrhythmia monitoring in pregnant patients with palpitations.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois, USA.


OBJECTIVE To assess the frequency of rhythm disturbances (RDs) obtained following placement of a Holter monitor or an event loop recorder (ERT) in patients referred to cardiologists.


Ninety-six gravidas were referred to the cardiology clinic for palpitations, syncope, or dizziness and had Holter monitoring or ERT after a baseline electroencephalogram. Arrhythmias were classified by severity.


Gestational age at referral was 22.6 weeks ± 8.3 days. Sixty-five patients had ERTs performed, and 19 had Holter monitors. Seventy-six percent had benign arrhythmias. In our ERT cohort, history of arrhythmias showed a fourfold increase in serious RD during gestation (odds ratio [OR] 4.7, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1 to 20.3, p = 0.01); obesity (body mass index > 30) had a fourfold increased risk (OR 4.0, 95% CI 1.0 to 1, p = 0.03). Serious RD did not result in greater chance of cesarean delivery or induction of labor, or a newborn with arrhythmias.


Most pregnant women with palpitations have benign arrhythmias. ERT appears to be a better method of diagnosis in pregnant women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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