The accuracy of photoplethysmography (PPG) for heart rate (HR) estimation in cardiac arrhythmia is unknown. PPG-HR was evaluated in 112 hospitalised inpatients (cardiac arrhythmias (n = 60), sinus rhythm (n = 52)) using a continuous electrocardiogram monitoring as a reference standard. Strong agreement was observed in sinus rhythm HR < 100 and atrial flutter (bias 1 beat), modest agreement in sinus tachycardia (bias 24 beats) and complete heart block (bias −6 beats) and weak agreement with significant HR underestimation was seen in atrial fibrillation (bias 23 beats). Routine utilisation of PPG for HR estimation may delay early recognition of clinical deterioration in certain arrhythmias and sinus tachycardia.
- atrial fibrillation
- heart rate