Management of cardiac conduction abnormalities and arrhythmia in aircrew

Norbert Guettler, Dennis Bron, Olivier Manen, Gary Gray, Thomas Syburra, Rienk Rienks, Joanna D'Arcy, Eddie D. Davenport, Edward D. Nicol*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Cardiovascular diseases i are the most common cause of loss of flying licence globally, and cardiac arrhythmia is the main disqualifier in a substantial proportion of aircrew. Aircrew ii often operate within a demanding physiological environment, that potentially includes exposure to sustained acceleration (usually resulting in a positive gravitational force, from head to feet (+Gz)) in high performance aircraft. Aeromedical assessment is complicated further when trying to discriminate between benign and potentially significant rhythm abnormalities in aircrew, many of whom are young and fit, have a resultant high vagal tone, and among whom underlying cardiac disease has a low prevalence. In cases where a significant underlying aetiology is plausible, extensive investigation is often required and where appropriate should include review by an electrophysiologist. The decision regarding restriction of flying activity will be dependent on several factors including the underlying arrhythmia, associated pathology, risk of incapacitation and/or distraction, the type of aircraft operated, and the specific flight or mission criticality of the role performed by the individual aircrew.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S38-S49
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • ECG/electrocardiogram
  • cardiac arrhythmias and resuscitation science
  • catheter ablation
  • electrophysiology
  • health care delivery


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