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The Value of Continuous Electrocardiographic Monitoring in Pediatric Cardiology: A Local Center Experience


Objectives This study aims to evaluate the value of Holter monitoring in pediatric cases and look for the best predictor for abnormal Holter monitoring. Methodology All patients referred with cardiac symptoms associated or possibly related to abnormal cardiac rhythm from January 2019 to December 2020 were retrospectively reviewed. The demographic, clinical, 12-lead electrocardiography (ECG), echocardiography, and Holter monitoring results were reviewed. Multinomial logistic regression analysis was used to assess the correlation between gender, age, type of symptoms, ECG, and echo abnormalities, and Holter monitoring results were analyzed. Results During the study period, a total of 189 Holter monitoring was performed for 187 patients. The mean age at the performance of Holter monitoring was 88.6 ± 57 months. The female/male ratio was 1.5:1. The commonest indications for Holter monitoring were abnormal 12-lead ECG (30.7%), palpitations (30.7%), syncopal attacks (12.7%), and chest pain (6.9%). Patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) pre- or post-cardiac intervention constitute 9% of the total Holter monitoring cases. Apart from sinus arrhythmia, 12-lead ECG was abnormal in 57 (30%) patients, with premature atrial complexes (PACs) being the most common abnormality. Echocardiography was abnormal in 67 (35.4%) cases, with secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) (6.3%) and mitral valve prolapse (5.8%) being the commonest abnormalities. The Holter monitoring was completely normal in 89 (47.1%) cases. The commonest Holter abnormalities were PACs (12.7%), supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) (5.8%), and premature ventricular complexes (PVCs) (4.8%). There were 24 patients with SVT, and eight of them had normal Holter monitoring. One patient with SVT had ablation by the electrophysiologist. Using the multinomial logistic regression analysis, significantly abnormal 12-lead ECG, the presence of CHD, and abnormal echocardiography predict the presence of abnormal Holter results with a statistically significant p-value. Conclusion Most pediatric arrhythmias are benign. Holter monitoring provides reassurance for the patient and family. Abnormal Holter monitoring is more often observed in patients with paroxysmal or persistently abnormal 12-lead ECG with or without associated cardiac abnormalities or cardiac interventions. The yield of Holter monitoring is low in children referred because of chest pain, palpitations, or syncope with no other cardiac symptoms and with a structurally and functionally normal heart.


Keywords:

congenital heart diseases (chds); holter monitoring; pediatric arrhythmias; pediatric electrophysiology; sudden cardiac death.



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