Diagnostic utility of early premature ventricular complexes in differentiating atrioventricular reentrant and atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardias


      His-refractory premature ventricular complexes perturbing a supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) establish the presence of an accessory pathway (AP). Earlier premature ventricular complexes (ErPVCs) may perturb SVTs but are considered nondiagnostic.


      The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that an ErPVC will always show a difference >35 ms in its advancement of the next atrial activation during atrioventricular nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT). During atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia (AVRT), a PVC delivered close to the circuit can result in greater advancement of atrial activation due to retrograde conduction via an AP. Thus, an AP response, defined as ErPVC (H1S2) advancing the subsequent atrial activation (A1-A2) more than this minimum difference (A1A2 ≤ H1S2+35 ms), establishes the presence of an AP.


      Sixty-five consecutive patients with SVT were retrospectively evaluated. ErPVCs were defined when the ventricular pacing stimulus was >35 ms ahead of the His during tachycardia.


      Among the 65 cases, 43 were AVNRT and 22 AVRT. Fourteen AVRT cases had an AP response with a mean H1S2+35 ms of 336 ± 58 ms and A1A2 of 309 ± 51ms. No AVNRT cases had an AP response. The specificity of an AP response to ErPVC in predicting AVRT was 100%.


      An AP response to PVCs (A1A2 ≤ H1S2+35 ms) is 100% specific for the presence of an AP.

      Graphical abstract

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