Evaluation of depolarization changes during acute myocardial ischemia by analysis of QRS slopes

Department of Cardiology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Journal of electrocardiology (Impact Factor: 1.36). 04/2011; 44(4):416-24. DOI: 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2011.03.005
Source: PubMed


This study evaluates depolarization changes in acute myocardial ischemia by analysis of QRS slopes.
In 38 patients undergoing elective percutaneous coronary intervention, changes in upward slope between Q and R waves and downward slope between R and S waves (DS) were analyzed. In leads V1 to V3, upward slope of the S wave was additionally analyzed. Ischemia was quantified by myocardial scintigraphy. Also, conventional QRS and ST measures were determined.
QRS slope changes correlated significantly with ischemia (for DS: r = 0.71, P < .0001 for extent, and r = 0.73, P < .0001 for severity). Best corresponding correlation for conventional electrocardiogram parameters was the sum of R-wave amplitude change (r = 0.63, P < .0001; r = 0.60, P < .0001) and the sum of ST-segment elevation (r = 0.67, P < .0001; r = 0.73, P < .0001). Prediction of extent and severity of ischemia increased by 12.2% and 7.1% by adding DS to ST.
The downward slope between R and S waves correlates with ischemia and could have potential value in risk stratification in acute ischemia in addition to ST-T analysis.

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    • "Several studies on QRS-derived changes during ischemia have measured the R-wave amplitude change [2] [3] [4], the QRS duration [5] [6] and high-frequency QRS fragmentation [7] [8] [9] [10]. Recently, changes in QRS morphology during ischemic events have been developed, such as QRS slopes and its angles change [11] [12] [13]. For many years, notches and slurs visible in the standard ECG (fragmented QRS) have been associated with disruption of ventricular activation in the presence of scarring [14] [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Low-level electrocardiographic changes from depolarization wavefront may accompany acute myocardial ischemia. The purpose of this study was to assess the changes of microvolt amplitude intra-QRS potentials induced by elective percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI). Methods Fifty-seven patients with balloon inflation periods ranging from 3.1 to 7.3 minutes (4.9 ± 0.7 min) were studied. Nine leads continuous high-resolution ECG before and during PCI were recorded and signal-averaged. Abnormal intra-QRS at microvolt level (μAIQP) were obtained using a signal modeling approach. μAIQP, R-wave amplitude and QRS duration were measured in the processed ECG during baseline and PCI episodes. Results The mean μAIQP amplitude significantly decreased for each of the standard 12 leads at the PCI event respect to baseline. Left anterior descending artery (LAD) occlusion resulted in a decrease μAIQP in both the precordial leads and the limb leads, while right coronary (RCA) and left circumflex (LCx) arteries occlusions mainly affected limb leads. R-wave amplitude increased during PCI in RCA and LCx groups in lead III but decreased in the precordial leads, while the amplitude decreased in the LAD group in lead III. The average duration of the QRS augmented in groups RCA and LCx but not in the LAD group. Conclusions Abnormal intra-QRS potentials at the level of μV provide an excellent tool to characterize the very-low amplitude fragmentation of the QRS complex and its changes due to ischemic injuries. μAIQP shows promise as a new ECG index to measure electrophysiologic changes associated with acute myocardial ischemia.
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    ABSTRACT: In this study, several electrocardiogram (ECG)-derived indices corresponding to both ventricular depolarization and repolarization were evaluated during acute myocardial ischemia in an experimental model of myocardial infarction produced by 40 min coronary balloon inflation in 13 pigs. Significant changes were rapidly observed from minute 4 after the start of coronary occlusion, achieving their maximum values between 11 and 22 min for depolarization and between 9 and 12 min for repolarization indices, respectively. Subsequently, these maximum changes started to decrease during the latter part of the occlusion. Depolarization changes associated with the second half of the QRS complex showed a significant but inverse correlation with the myocardium at risk (MaR) estimated by scintigraphic images. The correlation between MaR and changes of the downward slope of the QRS complex, [Formula: see text], evaluated at the two more relevant peaks observed during the occlusion, was r = -0.75, p < 0.01 and r = -0.79, p < 0.01 for the positive and negative deflections observed in [Formula: see text] temporal evolution, respectively. Repolarization changes, analyzed by evaluation of ST segment elevation at the main observed positive peak, also showed negative, however non-significant correlation with MaR: r = -0.34, p = 0.28. Our results suggest that changes evaluated in the latter part of the depolarization, such as those described by [Formula: see text], which are influenced by R-wave amplitude, QRS width and ST level variations simultaneously, correlate better with the amount of ischemia than other indices evaluated in the earlier part of depolarization or during the ST segment.
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