Utility of mobile cardiac outpatient telemetry for the diagnosis of palpitations, presyncope, syncope, and the assessment of therapy efficacy

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2007 May;18(5):473-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.2007.00779.x. Epub 2007 Mar 6.


Introduction: Continuous mobile cardiac outpatient telemetry (MCOT) may have several advantages over traditional ambulatory monitoring systems in the diagnostic evaluation of symptoms such as palpitations, dizziness, and syncope. However, only limited published data are available showing its advantages.

Methods and results: We reviewed the records of 122 consecutive patients evaluated using MCOT for palpitations, presyncope/syncope, or to monitor the efficacy of a specific antiarrhythmic therapy. Ten of 17 patients (59%) studied for presyncope/syncope had a diagnosis made with MCOT. Eight of these 17 patients had a previous negative evaluation for presyncope/syncope and five had an event correlated with the heart rhythm during the monitoring period. Nineteen patients monitored for palpitations or presyncope/syncope were asymptomatic during monitoring but had a prespecified arrhythmia detected. When MCOT was used as the first ambulatory monitoring system to evaluate palpitations (n = 18), 73% of patients correlated their symptoms with the underlying cardiac rhythm. Seven of 21 patients monitored for medication titration had dosage adjustments during outpatient monitoring.

Conclusions: MCOT can detect asymptomatic clinically significant arrhythmias, and was especially useful to identify the cause of presyncope/syncope, even in patients with a previous negative workup. This outpatient monitoring system allows patients to undergo daily medication dose titration in the outpatient setting, thus avoiding hospitalization.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ambulatory Care / methods*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / complications
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy*
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Syncope / diagnosis*
  • Syncope / etiology
  • Syncope / therapy*
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Telemetry / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome