A. Gladuli, N. S. Moise, S. A. Helmsley and N. F. Otani, Poincaré plots and tachograms reveal beat patterning in sick sinus syndrome with supraventricular tachycardia and varying AV nodal block, Journal of Veterinary Cardiology 13, 63-70 (2011).


Using 24-h ambulatory electrocardiography, the RR intervals of all beats were determined in a West Highland white terrier with sick sinus syndrome characterized by long sinus pauses, bradycardia, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and varying degrees of atrioventricular (AV) heart block. Distinctive patterns of bradycardia and 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, 4:1 and 5:1 AV block associated with SVT were evident in the tachogram (RR interval distribution over time) and Poincare plots (short-term heart rate variability plots of RRn versus RRn+1). These patterns differed from those of abrupt alteration in cycle length during long sinus pauses or bursts of supraventricular tachycardia. Recognition of such patterns may direct attention to time points for which close attention to the cardiac rhythm should be evaluated in the full-disclosure of the 24-h ECG recording.