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September 4, 1954


JAMA. 1954;156(1):70. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02950010072023

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To the Editor:—  In their article, "Use of Ballistocardiography in Evaluation of Paroxysmal Rapid Heart Action," in The Journal, July 3, 1954, page 897, Drs. Selinger and Levin state in the discussion following case 1: "It is known that paroxysmal auricular tachycardia may be the first sign of coronary artery disease. If attacks of paroxysmal auricular tachycardia develop in a man past 40, one must suspect coronary disease as the cause." I do not believe that this represents the opinion of most cardiologists. The authors' opening paragraph expresses rather, I believe, the consensus; that is, that tachycardia "is fundamentally a functional disturbance, but one occurring in [italics mine] hearts that are structurally either normal or abnormal." Paroxysmal auricular tachycardia is found far more often in normal than in damaged hearts. Even in the middle-aged the finding of paroxysmal auricular tachycardia tends to reassure me that I am more likely to

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