We describe the electrocardiographic changes during everyday activities recorded by ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring in 67 patients with neurocirculatory asthenia. The findings were compared with the results of ambulatory monitoring in 33 healthy controls. We observed episodes of sinus tachycardia > 120/min unrelated to effort in 60 of the patients, 35 had frequent episodes of pronounced sinus arrhythmia, 16 showed transient ST depression, and six transient ST elevation. All these changes appeared during the patients' routine activities, without any unusual exertion and frequently at rest. Periods of sinus tachycardia and sinus arrhythmia were recorded from the patients during sleep. Cardiac arrhythmias, especially ventricular premature beats, were also much more common in those with neurocirculatory asthenia than in the control subjects. These findings indicate that ambulatory electrocardiographic monitoring provides important information on the electrocardiographic characteristics of patients with neurocirculatory asthenia and helps to establish this diagnosis in obscure cases.
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