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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 58

of 'Alcoholic cardiomyopathy'

Cardiac arrhythmias in a population admitted to an acute alcoholic detoxification center.
Buckingham TA, Kennedy HL, Goenjian AK, Vasilomanolakis EC, Shriver KK, Sprague MK, Lyyski D
Am Heart J. 1985;110(5):961.
To characterize the relationship between acute alcohol ingestion and its withdrawal with cardiac arrhythmias, we studied 38 patients admitted to an acute community alcoholic detoxification center with 24-hour ambulatory ECGs and serum ethanol levels. We found a mild correlation between the serum ethanol level and the mean rate of ventricular ectopic beats/hour (rs = 0.34, p less than 0.05). Nonsustained ventricular tachycardia and atrial fibrillation were more common in patients found to have evidence of previous underlying organic heart disease. There was no change in the prevalence of cardiac arrhythmias in this population after 2 weeks of ethanol abstinence as judged by repeat 24-hour ambulatory ECG. We conclude that in patients admitted to an acute detoxification center, cardiac arrhythmias are found more commonly in those with underlying organic heart disease, and these arrhythmias do not appear to change after 2 weeks of abstinence from alcohol ingestion.