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Gepubliceerd in: Netherlands Heart Journal 7-8/2022

Open Access 10-05-2022 | Rhythm Puzzle – Answer

Swinging rhythms

Auteurs: J. Dijkmans, J.-T. Wijmenga, R. Tukkie

Gepubliceerd in: Netherlands Heart Journal | Uitgave 7-8/2022

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Answer

What stands out in the second electrocardiogram (Fig. 2) is the rhythm’s bidirectional pattern with a beat-to-beat shift in the QRS axis from −60 to +120 degrees and complete left bundle branch block with a QRS duration of 160 ms. A supraventricular origin with aberrant conduction is excluded as the rhythm is preceded by atrial fibrillation without tachycardia-dependent aberrancy when shorter R‑R intervals are present. Bigeminy is excluded by the regularity of the QRS intervals. The persistent left bundle branch morphology points to a ventricular tachycardia originating in the His-Purkinje system with alternating conduction from the left anterior to the left posterior fascicle. Bidirectional ventricular tachycardia (BVT) is the correct diagnosis.
In most cases of BVT, an aetiology that causes triggered activity is present [1]. In this case, there is no evidence for digoxin toxicity, electrolyte disturbances, myocarditis or other aetiologies that have previously been associated with BVT. However, an almost identical electrocardiogram has been published that was recorded in a decompensated 26-year-old woman with dilated cardiomyopathy in the absence of any other cause for triggered activity [2]. Further, acute heart failure is known to cause non-bidirectional ventricular tachycardia by triggered activity due to calcium overload as well, and an increased risk for digoxin toxicity has been reported in heart failure patients with a low digoxin plasma concentration (1.2–2.0 µg/l) [3]. Therefore, the most likely mechanism for BVT in this patient is intracellular calcium overload after administration of a digoxin loading dose during acute heart failure, causing delayed afterdepolarisation and triggered activity. Because of the severely depressed left ventricular ejection fraction no beta-blocker was administered. The arrhythmia terminated spontaneously.

Conflict of interest

J. Dijkmans, J.-T. Wijmenga and R. Tukkie declare that they have no competing interests.
Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://​creativecommons.​org/​licenses/​by/​4.​0/​.
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Literatuur
1.
go back to reference Al-Khafaji A, et al. Bidirectional tachycardia: two cases and a review. Anesth Analg. 2002;95:310–5. CrossRef Al-Khafaji A, et al. Bidirectional tachycardia: two cases and a review. Anesth Analg. 2002;95:310–5. CrossRef
2.
go back to reference Norwood DA, et al. Bidirectional ventricular tachycardia in a women with dilated cardiomyopathy: a case report. Adv J Emerg Med. 2019;4:e12. PubMedPubMedCentral Norwood DA, et al. Bidirectional ventricular tachycardia in a women with dilated cardiomyopathy: a case report. Adv J Emerg Med. 2019;4:e12. PubMedPubMedCentral
3.
go back to reference Adams KF Jr, et al. Relationship of serum digoxin concentration to mortality and morbidity in women in the digitalis investigation group trial: a retrospective analysis. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:497–504. CrossRef Adams KF Jr, et al. Relationship of serum digoxin concentration to mortality and morbidity in women in the digitalis investigation group trial: a retrospective analysis. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005;46:497–504. CrossRef
Metagegevens
Titel
Swinging rhythms
Auteurs
J. Dijkmans
J.-T. Wijmenga
R. Tukkie
Publicatiedatum
10-05-2022
Uitgeverij
Bohn Stafleu van Loghum
Gepubliceerd in
Netherlands Heart Journal / Uitgave 7-8/2022
Print ISSN: 1568-5888
Elektronisch ISSN: 1876-6250
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s12471-022-01695-7

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