Results are reported of portable 24 hour dynamic electrocardiographic monitoring in 50 male medical students without cardiovascular disease, as defined by normal clinical and noninvasive cardiovascular examination. During waking periods, maximal sinus rates ranged from 107 to 180 beats/min (mean ± standard deviation 141 ± 17) and minimal rates from 37 to 65 beats/min (mean 53 ± 6). Maximal and minimal observed sleeping rates were, respectively, 70 to 115 (mean 86 ± 9) and 33 to 55 (mean 43 ± 5). Twenty-five subjects (50 percent) had episodes of marked sinus arrhythmia as defined by spontaneous changes in adjacent cycle lengths of 100 percent or more. Fourteen subjects (28 percent) had sinus pauses of more than 1.75 seconds, usually during sinus arrhythmia. Transient nocturnal type I second degree atrioventricular (A-V) block was noted in three subjects (6 percent). Of 28 patients (56 percent) having atrial premature beats, only 1 (2 percent) had more than 100 such beats (141) in 24 hours. Of 25 patients (50 percent) having premature ventricular contractions, only 1 (2 percent) had more than 50 such contractions (86) in 24 hours. In conclusion, frequent atrial and ventricular premature beats are unusual in a young adult male population. In contrast, bradyarrhythmias (including marked sinus arrhythmia with sinus pauses, sinus bradycardia and nocturnal A-V block) are common. These findings are useful in evaluating the clinical significance of arrhythmias detected with portable monitoring.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine