Author + information
- Received April 12, 2004
- Revision received May 28, 2004
- Accepted July 14, 2004
- Published online October 19, 2004.
- Eduardo Back Sternick, MD*,* (, )
- Carl Timmermans, MD†,
- Eduardo Sosa, MD‡,
- Fernando E.S. Cruz, MD, FACC§,
- Luz-Maria Rodriguez, MD, FACC†,
- Márcio Fagundes, MD§,
- Luiz M. Gerken, MD* and
- Hein J.J. Wellens, MD, FACC†
- ↵*Reprint requests and correspondence:
Dr. Eduardo Back Sternick, rua Correias 281/301, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, 30315-340 Brazil
Objectives The purpose of the study was to identify the electrocardiographic (ECG) characteristics of the Mahaim fiber.
Background Mahaim fibers are slowly conducting accessory pathways reaching into the right ventricle. They often play a role in tachycardias.
Methods We retrospectively analyzed 40 patients with Mahaim fibers. Five patients had associated Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and were excluded from the study. Two patients had a short atrioventricular decremental accessory pathwayand were also excluded. The remaining 33 patients had a tachycardia with anterograde conduction over a Mahaim fiber. Twenty were female. Their mean age was 24 ± 10 years.
Results The most common pattern of minimal preexcitation during sinus rhythm was an rSpattern in lead III. This was found in 20 patients. There was a match between the presence of rSin lead III during sinus rhythm and left axis deviation during tachycardia with anterograde conduction over the Mahaim fiber. After ablation, a different QRS pattern emerged in lead III, indicating the absence of conduction over the Mahaim fiber. To obtain information on the prevalence of an rSpattern in lead III in age-matched controls with palpitations and without structural heart disease, the 12-lead ECG of 200 young individuals were examined. An rSpattern in lead III was found in 6%.
Conclusions A narrow QRS with an rSpattern in lead III during sinus rhythm in a patient with a history of palpitations should alert the physician to the possibility of a Mahaim fiber. During tachycardia, these patients typically show a left bundle branch block-like QRS complex with left axis deviation.
- Received April 12, 2004.
- Revision received May 28, 2004.
- Accepted July 14, 2004.
- American College of Cardiology Foundation