Prolonged signal-averaged P wave duration as a prognostic marker for morbidity and mortality in patients with congestive heart failure

Ulrik Dixen, Laura Wallevik, Maja S Hansen, Anne Haghfelt, Katja F Aqraou, Steen Z Abildstrom, Erik Frandsen, Gorm B Jensen
Scandinavian Cardiovascular Journal: SCJ 2003, 37 (4): 193-8

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prognostic roles of prolonged signal-averaged P wave duration (SAPWD), raised levels of natriuretic peptides, and clinical characteristics in patients with stable congestive heart failure (CHF).

DESIGN: The SAPWD was assessed from a signal-averaged electrocardiogram (SAECG), and the plasma levels of N-terminal pro-atrial natriuretic peptide (Nt-proANP) and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (Nt-proBNP) were measured in 43 consecutive patients with stable CHF without prior supraventricular arrhythmia. Echocardiographic and clinical data were also recorded. Time to death, hospitalization due to deteriorated CHF, or ECG-documented atrial fibrillation (AF) was recorded over a 438-day median follow-up.

RESULTS: During follow-up, 17 patients met an endpoint defined as death, AF, or hospitalization due to deteriorated CHF. Proportional hazard regression including the variables high age, prolonged SAPWD, raised levels of Nt-proANP and Nt-proBNP, and low ejection fraction (EF) showed that only prolonged SAPWD > or =149 ms was associated with an increased risk of meeting an early endpoint; the hazard ratio 3.94 with 95% confidence interval 1.50-10.42; p = 0.006.

CONCLUSION: Prolonged SAPWD appears to predict early death, AF development, or hospitalization due to deterioration of CHF in patients with stable CHF.

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