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February 1943


Author Affiliations


From the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory, the Second and Fourth (Harvard) Medical Services of the Boston City Hospital and the Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1943;71(2):137-156. doi:10.1001/archinte.1943.00210020003001

Paroxysmal ventricular tachycardia is a rare condition. Numerous articles have, however, been published on the subject, although detailed case reports from a single hospital have not exceeded 6. In two articles Strauss1 and Lundy and McLellan2 reported a few cases and analyzed the literature. We here present and discuss 36 cases, to the best of our knowledge the largest series from one hospital.

The files of the Heart Station at the Boston City Hospital contain approximately 64,000 electrocardiograms taken over a period of twenty years. Seventy cases are listed in the cross index files under the diagnosis of ventricular tachycardia. Of this number we discarded 34 because the diagnosis was not certain. This makes the incidence of ventricular tachycardia 1 in every 1,800 tracings, confirming the general impression that the condition is rare. The patients were cared for by the various services of the hospital, and in only