Electrocardiographic quantitation of ventricular repolarization.
Quantification of the electrocardiographic ventricular repolarization involving the T-U wave complex is usually performed with reference to the axis of the T wave and the QT interval duration. A novel quantitative approach to improve the description of ventricular repolarization was applied to the digitized electrocardiograms of 423 normal subjects. Six electrocardiographic repolarization characteristics were identified: duration, rate, area, symmetry, late phenomena, and interlead heterogeneity. A computer algorithm was designed to automatically interpret the electrocardiographic repolarization segment and measure 11 variables that quantified these repolarization characteristics. The application of redundancy-reduction techniques selected a final set of seven variables that were used in the statistical analysis. The QT interval, which was included in the initial group of variables, was replaced by the time interval between S wave offset and T wave maximum. All selected electrocardiographic variables were independent of age (r2 less than 0.11) and body surface area (r2 less than 0.03); all except the early duration variable were heart rate- and QT interval-independent (r2 less than 0.2, r2 less than 0.13, respectively; and most were uncorrelated to each other. A comparison of repolarization characteristics by gender revealed that repolarization duration was significantly more prolonged (p less than 0.0001) in women than in men. This multidimensional quantitative approach conveys a new and more complete description of the repolarization process and provides an electrocardiographic repolarization database in normal subjects as a reference standard for identifying patients with disordered repolarization.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association