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The value of the electrocardiogram in the differential diagnosis of a tachycardia with a widened QRS complex.

To determine the value of the electrocardiogram for differentiating aberrant conduction from ventricular ectopy, findings were retrospectively reviewed from patients with a widened QRS complex during tachycardia in whom the site of origin of tachycardia was determined by His bundle electrography. Seventy episodes of sustained ventricular tachycardia from 62 patients and 70 episodes of aberrant conduction during supraventricular tachycardia from 60 patients were available for study. Findings suggesting a ventricular origin of tachycardia were (1) QRS width over 0.14 sec, (2) left axis deviation, (3) certain configurational characteristics of QRS and (4) atrioventricular (A-V) dissociation. Capture or fusion beats resulting from A-V conduction of dissociated atrial complexes during ventricular tachycardia were seen during only four of 33 episodes of sustained tachycardia.

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