Arrhythmias in women may be affected by phases of the menstrual cycle. This study was designed to determine the prevalence of perimenstrual clustering of spontaneous episodes of paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) in women. It also tested the hypothesis that women with this temporal pattern of events have an altered probability of induction of paroxysmal SVT during electrophysiologic testing at higher estrogen states (midcycle or with estrogen replacement therapy) than at low estrogen states (perimenstrual or without estrogen replacement). A structured history of the relation of spontaneous paroxysmal SVTs to phases of the menstrual cycle was obtained prospectively among 42 women referred during a 3-year period. Patients with cyclical patterns of spontaneous tachycardias, who had had negative electrophysiologic studies at midcycle or while receiving estrogen replacement therapy, had repeat procedures (1) when premenstrual or at the onset of menses, or (2) after stopping estrogen replacement therapy. Seventeen of 42 consecutive female patients (40%) had histories of perimenstrual clustering of arrhythmias. Six women (4 with normal menstrual cycles, 2 on estrogen replacement therapy), who qualified for paired electrophysiologic studies because of a negative initial electrophysiologic study that included provocation with isoproterenol, had inducibility into SVTs during the second study. All 6 had dual atrioventricular (AV) nodal pathway physiology, 4 had AV nodal reentrant tachycardia (AVNRT) induced, 1 had both AVNRT and reciprocating AV tachycardias, and 1 had nonsustained AVNRT and an atrial tachycardia induced. Successful ablation procedures were performed in 5 of the 6 patients. Thus, among women with a history of perimenstrual clustering of paroxysmal SVT and among those receiving estrogen replacement therapy, scheduling of elective electrophysiologic procedures at times of low estrogen levels (premenstrual or off estrogen replacement therapy) may facilitate the probability of a successful procedure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine