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Adenosine induced PR jump on surface ECG to differentiate atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia from concealed accessory pathway mediated tachycardia: a bedside test
  1. S C Toal,
  2. B U Vajifdar,
  3. A K Gupta,
  4. A M Vora,
  5. Y Y Lokhandwala
  1. Department of Cardiology, K E M Hospital, Mumbai, India
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr YY Lokhandwala, Department of Cardiology, KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai 400012, India;


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of single dose intravenous adenosine in differentiating atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia (AVNRT) from concealed pathway mediated atrioventricular re-entrant tachycardia (AVRT) using surface ECG at the bedside.

Method: 12 mg of adenosine was administered to 97 consecutive patients who had documented narrow QRS tachycardia without manifest pre-excitation. The test was labelled positive for AVNRT if surface ECG recordings showed signs of dual atrioventricular (AV) node physiology—namely, PR jump or AV nodal echo. The diagnostic value of this test was evaluated by electrophysiological study as the yardstick.

Results: The adenosine test was positive for AVNRT in 48 patients (adenosine induced PR jump in 48, AV nodal echo in 3) and negative in 49 patients. On electrophysiological study, 62 patients had AVNRT and 35 had concealed pathway mediated AVRT. Thus, the test had a sensitivity of 74% and specificity of 94%. The positive predictive value was 96% and the negative predictive value was 67%.

Conclusion: Single dose (12 mg) intravenous adenosine administered during sinus rhythm can identify dual AV node physiology on surface ECG recording at the bedside. A positive adenosine test identified by a PR jump can differentiate AVNRT from AVRT with a high specificity and positive predictive accuracy.

  • arrhythmia
  • diagnosis
  • electrophysiology
  • ablation
  • ATP, adenosine 5` triphosphate
  • AV, atrioventricular
  • AVNRT, atrioventricular nodal re-entrant tachycardia
  • AVRT, atrioventricular re-entrant tachycardia
  • EPS, electrophysiological study

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