Rate Dependent Aberrancy
Forty patients with "rate dependent aberrancy" (RDA) were studied. This large group of patients permitted a clear definition of the syndrome and recognition of a number of features not previously described. These proved to have a significant bearing on the recognition and differential diagnosis of RDA and non-rate dependent aberrancy.
It was found that a small change in cycle length, perhaps too small to be recognized in the surface ECG, can result in RDA. Consequently, if a critical shortening of cycle length is to be recognized, it is necessary to record not only the onset of aberrant rhythm but also sufficiently long strips with normal intraventricular conduction preceding and following the RDA. In some patients there was no recognizable sudden change in cycle length and the onset of aberrancy was a function of the duration of the accelerated rate. In others only the first cycle of the rhythm with RDA was shortened and the remaining R-R intervals were paradoxically longer than the R-R cycle which initiated the RDA.
The aberrancy in RDA occurred at relatively slow heart rates (in 26 of the 40 patients the rate was below 80), and was frequently independent of any significant changes in the duration of the immediately preceding cycle length. There was a striking prevalence of left bundle branch block, and in 35 of the 40 patients obvious organic heart disease was documented.
- Received December 11, 1972.
- Accepted May 11, 1973.
- © 1973 American Heart Association, Inc.