XII. Polarity and Amplitude of the U Wave of the Electrocardiogram in Relation to that of the T Wave
The ratio of the amplitude of the QRS complex to the amplitude of the U wave varies in different leads of the same electrocardiogram. In the majority of electrocardiograms, the U wave has the same polarity as the T wave and the ratio of the U wave and T wave amplitude is relatively constant in all leads. The tallest positive U wave is usually observed in the area of leads V2 to V4. The deepest negative U wave is usually observed in the area of leads V5 to V6. Secondary changes of the T wave are very frequently accompanied by similar changes of the U wave. T-wave changes caused by myocardial infarction and digitalis are usually not accompanied by changes of the polarity of the U wave.
The electrocardiograms of 297 cases of hypertension were divided into 6 groups on the basis of the relationship between the polarity of the T wave and the U wave. Both waves were positive in all precordial leads in 48.1 per cent of the cases. Negative U waves were found in 21.8 per cent of the cases and these were predominantly in the leads with negative T waves. A negative T wave in the left precordial leads was accompanied most frequently by a negative, less frequently by an isoelectric, and least frequently by a positive, U wave. An inverted U wave in the presence of an upright T wave was found in only 2.8 per cent of the cases. A change from a negative to a positive or isoelectric U wave was observed after slowing of the heart rate, a drop in blood pressure, and nitroglycerin administration.
- © 1957 American Heart Association, Inc.