Multifocal atrial tachycardia

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Multifocal atrial tachycardia
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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. [2] Syed Hassan A. Kazmi BSc, MD [3]

Synonyms and Keywords: MAT

Overview

Multifocal atrial tachycardia (MAT) or also called chaotic atrial tachycardia is a cardiac arrhythmia, specifically a type of supraventricular tachycardia (rate exceeding 100 beats per minute). This is characterized by 3 or more different P wave shapes  or contour, variable PP, PR and RR intervals. Most P waves are conducted to the ventricles but some are not. Some R  waves are aberrantly conducted.This variability makes it look irregular on the surface ECG and often misinterpreted as atrial fibrillation.

A rhythm with same the ECG characteristics but at a slow rate is called multifocal atrial rhythm (MAR).

It can be seen among elderly patients with COPD and CHF and eventually develop into atrial fibrillation

Causes

Multifocal atrial tachycardia usually results from an underlying medical condition such as COPD, chronic renal failure, pulmonary embolism, electrolyte imbalance, and many other conditions.

Life Threatening Causes

Life-threatening causes include conditions which may result in death or permanent disability within 24 hours if left untreated.

Common Causes

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Congestive heart failure, myocardial infarction, valvular heart disease
Chemical/Poisoning No underlying causes
Dental No underlying causes
Dermatologic No underlying causes
Drug Side Effect Aminophylline, isoproterenol, theophylline
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine Diabetes mellitus
Environmental No underlying causes
Gastroenterologic No underlying causes
Genetic No underlying causes
Hematologic No underlying causes
Iatrogenic Postoperative complication
Infectious Disease Pneumonia, sepsis
Musculoskeletal/Orthopedic No underlying causes
Neurologic No underlying causes
Nutritional/Metabolic No underlying causes
Obstetric/Gynecologic No underlying causes
Oncologic Lung cancer
Ophthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose/Toxicity Aminophylline
Psychiatric No underlying causes
Pulmonary Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypoxia, lung cancer, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism
Renal/Electrolyte Chronic renal failure, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia
Rheumatology/Immunology/Allergy No underlying causes
Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma No underlying causes
Urologic No underlying causes
Miscellaneous No underlying causes

Causes in Alphabetical Order

Diagnosis

Electrocardiography

Differentiating Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia From Other Disease

Arrhythmia Rhythm Rate P wave PR Interval QRS Complex Response to Maneuvers Epidemiology Co-existing Conditions
Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)[1][2]
  • Irregularly irregular
  • Absent
  • Fibrillatory waves
  • Absent
  • Less than 0.12 seconds, consistent, and normal in morphology in the absence of aberrant conduction
  • 2.7–6.1 million people in the United States have AFib
  • 2% of people younger than age 65 have AFib, while about 9% of people aged 65 years or older have AFib
Atrial Flutter[3]
  • Regular or Irregular
  • 75 (4:1 block), 100 (3:1 block) and 150 (2:1 block) beats per minute (bpm), but 150 is more common
  • Sawtooth pattern of P waves at 250 to 350 bpm
  • Biphasic deflection in V1
  • Varies depending upon the magnitude of the block, but is short
  • Less than 0.12 seconds, consistent, and normal in morphology
  • Conduction may vary in response to drugs and maneuvers dropping the rate from 150 to 100 or to 75 bpm
Atrioventricular nodal reentry tachycardia (AVNRT)[4][5][6][7]
  • Regular
  • 140-280 bpm
  • Slow-Fast AVNRT:
    • Pseudo-S wave in leads II, III, and AVF
    • Pseudo-R' in lead V1.
  • Fast-Slow AVNRT
  • Slow-Slow AVNRT
  • Inverted, superimposed on or buried within the QRS complex (pseudo R prime in V1/pseudo S wave in inferior leads)
  • Absent (P wave can appear after the QRS complex and before the T wave, and in atypical AVNRT, the P wave can appear just before the QRS complex)
  • Less than 0.12 seconds, consistent, and normal in morphology in the absence of aberrant conduction
  • QRS alternans may be present
Multifocal Atrial Tachycardia[8][9]
  • Irregular
  • Atrial rate is > 100 beats per minute
  • Varying morphology from at least three different foci
  • Absence of one dominant atrial pacemaker, can be mistaken for atrial fibrillation if the P waves are of low amplitude
  • Less than 0.12 seconds, consistent, and normal in morphology
Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia
  • Regular
  • 150 and 240 bpm
  • Absent
  • Hidden in QRS
  • Absent
  • Narrow complexes (< 0.12 s)
Premature Atrial Contractrions (PAC)[10][11]
  • Regular except when disturbed by premature beat(s)
  • 80-120 bpm
  • Upright
  • > 0.12 second
  • May be shorter than that in normal sinus rhythm (NSR) if the origin of PAC is located closer to the AV node
  • Ashman’s Phenomenon:
  • Usually narrow (< 0.12 s)
Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome[12][13]
  • Regular
  • Atrial rate is nearly 300 bpm and ventricular rate is at 150 bpm
  • Less than 0.12 seconds
  • A delta wave and evidence of ventricular pre-excitation if there is conduction to the ventricle via ante-grade conduction down an accessory pathway
  • A delta wave and pre-excitation may not be present because bypass tracts do not conduct ante-grade.
Ventricular Fibrillation (VF)[14][15][16]
  • Irregular
  • 150 to 500 bpm
  • Absent
  • Absent
  • Absent (R on T phenomenon in the setting of ischemia)
Ventricular Tachycardia[17][18]
  • Regular
  • > 100 bpm (150-200 bpm common)
  • Absent

  • Absent
  • Initial R wave in V1, initial r > 40 ms in V1/V2, notched S in V1, initial R in aVR, lead II R wave peak time ≥50 ms, no RS in V1-V6, and atrioventricular dissociation
  • Wide complex, QRS duration > 120 milliseconds
  • 5-10% of patients presenting with AMI

References

  1. Lankveld TA, Zeemering S, Crijns HJ, Schotten U (July 2014). "The ECG as a tool to determine atrial fibrillation complexity". Heart. 100 (14): 1077–84. doi:10.1136/heartjnl-2013-305149. PMID 24837984.
  2. Harris K, Edwards D, Mant J (2012). "How can we best detect atrial fibrillation?". J R Coll Physicians Edinb. 42 Suppl 18: 5–22. doi:10.4997/JRCPE.2012.S02. PMID 22518390.
  3. Cosío FG (June 2017). "Atrial Flutter, Typical and Atypical: A Review". Arrhythm Electrophysiol Rev. 6 (2): 55–62. doi:10.15420/aer.2017.5.2. PMC 5522718. PMID 28835836.
  4. Katritsis DG, Josephson ME (August 2016). "Classification, Electrophysiological Features and Therapy of Atrioventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia". Arrhythm Electrophysiol Rev. 5 (2): 130–5. doi:10.15420/AER.2016.18.2. PMC 5013176. PMID 27617092.
  5. Letsas KP, Weber R, Siklody CH, Mihas CC, Stockinger J, Blum T, Kalusche D, Arentz T (April 2010). "Electrocardiographic differentiation of common type atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia from atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia via a concealed accessory pathway". Acta Cardiol. 65 (2): 171–6. doi:10.2143/AC.65.2.2047050. PMID 20458824.
  6. "Atrioventricular Nodal Reentry Tachycardia (AVNRT) - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf".
  7. Schernthaner C, Danmayr F, Strohmer B (2014). "Coexistence of atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia with other forms of arrhythmias". Med Princ Pract. 23 (6): 543–50. doi:10.1159/000365418. PMC 5586929. PMID 25196716.
  8. Scher DL, Arsura EL (September 1989). "Multifocal atrial tachycardia: mechanisms, clinical correlates, and treatment". Am. Heart J. 118 (3): 574–80. doi:10.1016/0002-8703(89)90275-5. PMID 2570520.
  9. Goodacre S, Irons R (March 2002). "ABC of clinical electrocardiography: Atrial arrhythmias". BMJ. 324 (7337): 594–7. doi:10.1136/bmj.324.7337.594. PMC 1122515. PMID 11884328.
  10. Lin CY, Lin YJ, Chen YY, Chang SL, Lo LW, Chao TF, Chung FP, Hu YF, Chong E, Cheng HM, Tuan TC, Liao JN, Chiou CW, Huang JL, Chen SA (August 2015). "Prognostic Significance of Premature Atrial Complexes Burden in Prediction of Long-Term Outcome". J Am Heart Assoc. 4 (9): e002192. doi:10.1161/JAHA.115.002192. PMC 4599506. PMID 26316525.
  11. Strasburger JF, Cheulkar B, Wichman HJ (December 2007). "Perinatal arrhythmias: diagnosis and management". Clin Perinatol. 34 (4): 627–52, vii–viii. doi:10.1016/j.clp.2007.10.002. PMC 3310372. PMID 18063110.
  12. Rao AL, Salerno JC, Asif IM, Drezner JA (July 2014). "Evaluation and management of wolff-Parkinson-white in athletes". Sports Health. 6 (4): 326–32. doi:10.1177/1941738113509059. PMC 4065555. PMID 24982705.
  13. Rosner MH, Brady WJ, Kefer MP, Martin ML (November 1999). "Electrocardiography in the patient with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome: diagnostic and initial therapeutic issues". Am J Emerg Med. 17 (7): 705–14. doi:10.1016/s0735-6757(99)90167-5. PMID 10597097.
  14. Glinge C, Sattler S, Jabbari R, Tfelt-Hansen J (September 2016). "Epidemiology and genetics of ventricular fibrillation during acute myocardial infarction". J Geriatr Cardiol. 13 (9): 789–797. doi:10.11909/j.issn.1671-5411.2016.09.006. PMC 5122505. PMID 27899944.
  15. Samie FH, Jalife J (May 2001). "Mechanisms underlying ventricular tachycardia and its transition to ventricular fibrillation in the structurally normal heart". Cardiovasc. Res. 50 (2): 242–50. doi:10.1016/s0008-6363(00)00289-3. PMID 11334828.
  16. Adabag AS, Luepker RV, Roger VL, Gersh BJ (April 2010). "Sudden cardiac death: epidemiology and risk factors". Nat Rev Cardiol. 7 (4): 216–25. doi:10.1038/nrcardio.2010.3. PMC 5014372. PMID 20142817.
  17. Koplan BA, Stevenson WG (March 2009). "Ventricular tachycardia and sudden cardiac death". Mayo Clin. Proc. 84 (3): 289–97. doi:10.1016/S0025-6196(11)61149-X. PMC 2664600. PMID 19252119.
  18. Levis JT (2011). "ECG Diagnosis: Monomorphic Ventricular Tachycardia". Perm J. 15 (1): 65. doi:10.7812/tpp/10-130. PMC 3048638. PMID 21505622.

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