How does alcohol intoxication affect the workup for holiday heart syndrome (HHS)?

Updated: May 30, 2018
  • Author: Lawrence Rosenthal, MD, PhD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Jose M Dizon, MD  more...
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Answer

See the Medscape Drugs and Diseases article Alcohol Toxicity for complications associated with alcohol intoxication. In brief, other considerations in patients with suspected HHS involve the excessive use of caffeine or over-the-counter decongestants (ie, pseudoephedrine and recreational substances). Atrial fibrillation may be precipitated by pulmonary embolism, and this possibility should be considered in the appropriate clinical context. [27] One of the most common reasons for presentation to the emergency department is community-acquired pneumonia. Moreover, alcohol intoxication increases the risk for aspiration pneumonia. [28] When these factors are considered together, there are substantial data indicating an association between acute pneumonia and incident atrial fibrillation. [29] Thus, it is reasonable to consider the possibility of pnemonia in the appropriate clinical setting.


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