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Comparison of in-hospital versus 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography for detection of ventricular premature complexes in mature Boxers

Kathryn M. MeursDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary, Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Alan W. SpierDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary, Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Nicola A. WrightDepartment of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary, Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Robert L. HamlinDepartment of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary, Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

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Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of in-hospital electrocardiography (ECG) for detection of ventricular premature complexes (VPC), compared with 24-hour ambulatory ECG.

Design—Original study.

Animals—188 Boxers > 9 months old; 31 had a history of syncope, and 157 were healthy (no history of syncope).

Procedure—In-hospital ECG was performed on all Boxers for at least 2 minutes. Within 7 days after the in-hospital ECG was completed, 24-hour ambulatory ECG was performed.

Results—The specificity of in-hospital ECG was 100% for the detection of at least 50 VPC in a 24-hour period in dogs with syncope and 93% in healthy dogs. In-hospital ECG had poor sensitivity, although sensitivity increased as the number of VPC per 24 hours increased.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of in-hospital ECG is highly specific for detection of at least 50 VPC during a 24-hour period. However, in-hospital ECG is insensitive, and a lack of VPC does not suggest that the dog does not have a substantial number of VPC during that same period. The use of in-hospital ECG appears to be inadequate for screening purposes and therapeutic evaluations in mature Boxers with ventricular arrhythmic disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:222–224)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the use of in-hospital electrocardiography (ECG) for detection of ventricular premature complexes (VPC), compared with 24-hour ambulatory ECG.

Design—Original study.

Animals—188 Boxers > 9 months old; 31 had a history of syncope, and 157 were healthy (no history of syncope).

Procedure—In-hospital ECG was performed on all Boxers for at least 2 minutes. Within 7 days after the in-hospital ECG was completed, 24-hour ambulatory ECG was performed.

Results—The specificity of in-hospital ECG was 100% for the detection of at least 50 VPC in a 24-hour period in dogs with syncope and 93% in healthy dogs. In-hospital ECG had poor sensitivity, although sensitivity increased as the number of VPC per 24 hours increased.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of in-hospital ECG is highly specific for detection of at least 50 VPC during a 24-hour period. However, in-hospital ECG is insensitive, and a lack of VPC does not suggest that the dog does not have a substantial number of VPC during that same period. The use of in-hospital ECG appears to be inadequate for screening purposes and therapeutic evaluations in mature Boxers with ventricular arrhythmic disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001;218:222–224)