Abstract 4130: Applicability Of Left Ventricular Hypertrophy Electrocardiographic Criteria In Professional Athletes
Introduction. The widely known electrocardiographic criteria for diagnosing left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) use QRS complex voltages to define whether there is left ventricle enlargement or not. Mild myocardial hypertrophy is detected in many professional athletes and this is a consequence of their daily intensity of training. Thus it is not unusual that athlete’s ECGs show large QRS voltages with normal hearts.
Objective. To evaluate the applicability of the usual electrocardiographic criteria for LVH - Sokolow-Lyon, Romhilt-Estes, Cornell and Gubner - in a population of professional athletes.
Methods. The four LVH criteria for diagnosing LVH were applied to analyse ECGs of 107 professional athletes (71% soccer players, 29% marathonists, all male, age 25± 10 years, training for 9± 8 years) by the same observer unaware of echocardiographic results. ECG was considered to be indicative of LVH if: Sokolow-Lyon ≥35mm (V 1or 2 S wave+V5or 6 R wave); Romhilt-Estes score ≥5 points (frontal plane: R or S waves ≥ 20mm, horizontal plane: R or S waves ≥ 30mm, Morris indices, V5or 6 strain pattern, left axis deviation ≥ − 30°, intrinsecoid deflection ≥ 0.04s, QRS duration ≥ 0.10s) ; Cornell ≥ 28mm (aV L R wave + V3 S wave); Gubner ≥ 22mm (D I R wave + DIII S wave). Hypertrophy was considered whenever: LV diastolic diameter ≥ 60mm and/or septum ≥ 13mm and/or LV posterior wall ≥ 13mm. Kruskal-Wallis was used to statistically analyse quantitative variables, corrected chi-square test for categorical variables. Significance level: p ≤ 0.05.
Results. Romhilt-Estes showed the best results (75% sensitivity, 84% specificity, 16 false-positives, 1 false-negative), and was the only criteria with statistical significance (p = 0.047). Sokolow-Lyon showed 100% sensitivity, 15% specificity, p = 0.545, 88% false-positives, 0% false-negative. Cornell and Gubner showed 25% and 0% sensitivity, 95% and 99% specificity, p=0.205 and p = 0.449, respectively.
Conclusion. In this male population of professional athletes, Romhilt-Estes score proved to be the best criterion for identifying left ventricular hypertrophy, while Sokolow-Lyon criterion did not discriminate normal from abnormal hearts. Cornell and Gubner criteria should not be used in this population because of their low sensitivity.