Background: The mechanism of inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST) remains incompletely understood.
Methods and results: We prospectively compared 3 patient groups: 11 patients with IST (IST Group), 9 control patients administered isoproterenol (Isuprel Group), and 15 patients with cristae terminalis atrial tachycardia (AT Group). P-wave amplitude in lead II and PR interval were measured at a lower and higher heart rate (HR1 and HR2, respectively). P-wave amplitude increased significantly with the increase in HR in the IST Group (0.16±0.07 mV at HR1=97±12 beats per minute versus 0.21±0.08 mV at HR2=135±21 beats per minute, P=0.001). The average increase in P-wave amplitude in the IST Group was similar to the Isuprel Group (P=0.26). PR interval significantly shortened with the increases in HR in the IST Group (146±15 ms at HR1 versus 128±16 ms at HR2, P<0.001). A similar decrease in the PR interval was noted in the Isuprel Group (P=0.6). In contrast, patients in the atrial tachycardia Group experienced PR lengthening during atrial tachycardia when compared with baseline normal sinus rhythm (153±25 ms at HR1=78±17 beats per minute versus 179±29 ms at HR2=140±28 beats per minute, P<0.01).
Conclusions: We have shown that HR increases in patients with IST were associated with an increase in P-wave amplitude in lead II and PR shortening similar to what is seen in healthy controls following isoproterenol infusion. The increase in P-wave amplitude and absence of PR lengthening in IST support an extrinsic mechanism consistent with a state of sympatho-excitation with cephalic shift in sinus node activation and enhanced atrioventricular nodal conduction.
Keywords: atrial tachycardia; atrio‐ventricular conduction; inappropriate sinus tachycardia.
© 2018 The Authors. Published on behalf of the American Heart Association, Inc., by Wiley.