Usefulness of the ΔHA interval to accurately distinguish atrioventricular nodal reentry from orthodromic septal bypass tract tachycardias

John M. Miller, Mark E. Rosenthal, Charles D. Gottlieb, Joseph A. Vassallo, Mark E. Josephson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


Surface electrocardiographic criteria may be inadequate to distinguish some cases of atrioventricular (AV) nodal reentrant supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) from those with orthodromic SVT incorporating a posterior septal bypass tract (orthodromic SVT) because of similarities in P-wave morphology and timing during SVT. Invasive electrophysiologic studies may occasionally leave uncertainty in the correct diagnosis, using currently accepted criteria. A new criterion for distinguishing these 2 forms of SVT was therefore devised and tested based on differences in the sequence of activation of the His bundle and atrium during SVT and ventricular pacing. Eighty-four patients underwent invasive electrophysiologic studies (60 with proved AV nodal SVT, 24 with proved orthodromic SVT), during which His to atrial (HA) intervals were measured during SVT as well as ventricular pacing at the same rate. The newly devised criterion, the delta HA interval (HApace - HAsvt) was found to accurately distinguish AV nodal SVT (ΔHA >0 ms) from orthodromic SVT (ΔHA < -27 ms). An intermediate value of ΔHA = -10 ms was chosen which had a 100% sensitivity, specificity and predictive accuracy in differentiating the 2 forms of SVT. A clear retrograde His potential during ventricular pacing, which is essential for application of this criterion, was present in 78 of 84 (93%) cases. In summary, patients with ΔHA intervals >-10 ms separate AV nodal reentry from orthodromic SVT incorporating a septal bypass tract, and no overlap exists between the 2 groups. This criterion may be useful in differentiating the mechanism of SVT in cases in which distinction is not possible by other methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1037-1044
Number of pages8
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 15 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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