Repolarization abnormalities in survivors of out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation.
Survivors of out-of-hospital ventricular fibrillation (VF) are at high risk for recurrent VF, probably reflecting continued myocardial electrical instability. In this study 12-lead ECGs of 125 VF survivors with coronary heart disease were examined and compared to those of 98 ambulatory post-MI patients. The study was part of an effort to define clinical identifiers of patients likely to develop sudden cardiac death. Ventricular fibrillation survivors were commonly had premature ventricular complexes (PVCs):30% versus 13% (P less than 0.01). In addition, ECGs of VF survivors showed a significantly greater prevalence of ST-segment depression (46% versus 10%), T wave flattening (52% versus 26%), and QTc prolongation (35% versus 18%). It is proposed that these repolarization abnormalities represent asynchronous repolarization, which together with frequent PVCs, may set the stage for re-entrant ventricular dysrhythmias and ultimately VF. It is also possible that repolarization abnormalities together with premature ventricular contractions might serve as markers of patients with coronary heart disease who are at increased risk for sudden cardiac death.
- Copyright © 1978 by American Heart Association