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Study: Commonly used heart monitoring system often fails

A recently completed multi-center, peer-reviewed study has found that cardiac arrhythmias, one of the most common yet potentially dangerous heart conditions affecting more than four million Americans, often go undetected despite med

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A recently completed multi-center, peer-reviewed study has found that cardiac arrhythmias, one of the most common yet potentially dangerous heart conditions affecting more than four million Americans, often go undetected despite medical monitoring, resulting in more than 780,000 hospitalizations and contributing to approximately 500,000 deaths each year.

The first of its kind study, to be published in the March issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, compared the effectiveness of two ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring systems in detecting arrhythmias, a condition in which a person's heartbeat is abnormal. Three hundred patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of a cardiac arrhythmia and with previous negative or inconclusive 24-hour Holter monitoring or 24-hours of telemetry, were enrolled in the study by 17 cardiology practices. Patients were randomized to either a new technology called Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry (MCOT) or to a cardiac loop event recorder. The results of the study showed that MCOT was almost three times more effective detecting and diagnosing clinically significant arrhythmias compared to the frequently prescribed cardiac loop event recorder.

MCOT detected clinically significant arrhythmias in 41 percent of patients, compared to the cardiac loop event recorder, which detected arrhythmias in just 15 percent of patients (p<0.001). Furthermore, MCOT detected clinically significant atrial fibrillation in 23 percent of patients, compared to 8 percent by cardiac loop event recorders (p<0.001). In patients that experienced no symptoms (asymptomatic patients) during the study, the cardiac loop event recorders detected no (0 percent) clinically significant atrial fibrillation, compared to MCOT, which detected clinically significant atrial fibrillation in 17 percent of patients (p<0.001).

Source: BusinessWire.com