Background Tachycardia diagnoses from implantable device recordings ultimately depend on the analysis of captured electrograms (EGMs). The degree to which atrial EGMs improve tachycardia discrimination, dependent on the level of expertise of the medical professional involved, remains uncertain. Objective The purpose of this article was to determine whether atrial EGM recordings improve tachycardia discrimination and whether this improvement, if any, varies for professionals with different levels of training. Methods Expert-adjudicated supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and ventricular tachycardia (VT) dual-chamber EGMs (DEGMs) from the Registry of Atrial Tachycardia and Atrial Fibrillation Episodes in the Cardiac Rhythm Management Device Population were provided to electrophysiology specialists, electrophysiology fellows (EPF), and nurse practitioners or physician assistants (NPPA). Each participant diagnosed 112 EGM episodes presented in random sequence (61 VTs and 51 SVTs) and independently categorized each as "SVT," "VT," or "uncertain" in 2 stages. First, participants analyzed ventricular EGMs (VEGMs) alone (atrial channel covered). Second, the tracings were randomized and reanalyzed with atrial EGMs exposed. The diagnostic accuracy of VEGMs alone vs DEGMs was assessed for each group. Results For all 3 groups, diagnostic accuracy improved significantly (>20% for VTs and >15% for SVTs; P <.01 for all) when DEGMs were provided. Electrophysiology specialists diagnosed VTs more accurately than did EPF and NPPA (VEGM: 73.1%±7.6% vs 58.7%±15.5% and 56.1%±14.1%; P <.01; DEGM: 98.0%±2.7% vs 90.8%±16.0% and 80.3%±7.4%; P <.01). EPF diagnosed VTs more accurately than did NPPA only when DEGMs were provided. There was no significant intergroup difference in SVT diagnoses. Conclusion DEGMs are superior to VEGMs alone for tachycardia discrimination at all levels of expertise. The level of training affects diagnostic accuracy with and without atrial EGMs.
- Implantable defibrillator
- RATE Registry