Long Term Monitor Yields Greater Value for Stroke
February 26, 2014
Information presented at the International Stroke Conference reveal that a continuous ECG recording for up to 2 weeks detected cardiac arrhythmias in patients with stroke or transient ischemic attack. According to this study, many of the arrhythmias occurred after 48 hours in the study suggesting a longer duration can identify more information.
The traditional protocol is a resting 12 lead EKG and / or a 24 hour Holter Monitoring study. According to the results from this study presented at the conference, a standard 24-hour Holter monitoring study would have missed Atrial fibrillation found in the selected group of patients. The study further indicates that monitoring for 14 days can find A Fib in 1 out of 20 as compared to possibly none from a standard Holter Monitoring study.
The research discovered that A Fib was present in 4.8% of all reports and 14.3% of the first paroxysmal AF episodes occurred 48 hours or later into the monitoring period. The mean duration before the first episode of paroxysmal AF was 1.5 days and the median duration was 0.4 days. Mean paroxysmal AF burden comprised 12.7% of the total monitoring duration. Surpaventricular tachycardia was detected in 51% of cases.
Detection of A Fib is considered important as it correlates to stroke. Cardiovascular specialists will often employ antithrombotic medication, antiplatelet therapy or anticoagulation therapy as tools to prevent a stroke from occurring.
A long term continuous monitor appears to be a useful tool for detecting A Fib that is potentially asymptomatic in nature as the study shows these finding were detected after the initial 48 hour recording period.