Gradual changes of ECG waveform during and after exercise in normal subjects.
The directions and magnitudes of time-normalized P, QRS, and ST vectors, and other ECG parameters were analyzed during and after multistage exercise in 56 ostensibly healthy men aged 23 to 62. By selective averaging with a digital computer system a single representative beat was obtained from each stage. Measurements were taken from this beat. During exercise, the interval between the spatial maximum of the P wave and the onset of the QRS complex decreased while the magnitude of the P wave increased. The direction of the P vectors did not change. This pattern corresponds to the electrocardiographic manifestations of predominant right atrial overload. No significant changes in the QRS duration were observed. Also the magnitude and spatial orientation of the maximum QRS vectors remained constant. The interval between the QRS onset and the maximum spatial magnitude of the T wave shortened. The terminal QRS vectors and the ST vectors gradually shifted toward the right, and superiorly. The T magnitude lessened during exercise. In the first minute of the recovery period the P and T magnitudes markedly increased. Afterward all measurements gradually returned to the resting level. Mechanisms which may explain the observed ECG changes during and after exercise are discussed, including changes in the blood conductivity and intracardiac blood volume. Age did not contribute to the variance of the ECG measurements, but a significant reduction of this variance could be otained in some ST-segment measurements by relating them to heart rate with linear regression equations (P less than or equal to 0.05). Therefore it is expected that the sensitivity of the exercise ECG for detection of ischemic heart disease would be increased when heart rate dependent normal limits for ST-segment measurements are used. Different criteria should be employed for the interpretation of the ECG during and after exercise.
- Copyright © 1975 by American Heart Association