Research Article

Detection of arrhythmia: limited usefulness of patient activated recording devices.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 27 October 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:1106
  1. L E Thomas,
  2. L M Shapiro,
  3. E J Perrins,
  4. K M Fox


    The findings of 24 hour ambulatory electrocardiography and monitoring with the Cardiomemo, a device recording 32 seconds of electrocardiogram during symptoms, were compared in 20 patients with symptoms suggestive of arrhythmia. Ambulatory electrocardiography showed arrhythmia in seven patients, extrasystoles in six, and normal findings in seven. Nine patients failed to transmit any Cardiomemo recordings, and the Cardiomemo failed to show ventricular and supraventricular tachycardia. It did not show any appreciable arrhythmia in the seven patients with normal 24 hour electrocardiograms. The Cardiomemo does not offer any important advantages over ambulatory electrocardiography, and its relative cheapness is outweighed by the limited number of patients who can use the device in one year. It can, however, reassure anxious patients of the absence of arrhythmia during symptoms.