Clinical characteristics and prevalence of early repolarization associated with ventricular arrhythmias following acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction

Ravi B Patel, Leonard Ilkhanoff, Jason Ng, Moulin Chokshi, Anas Mouchli, Satish Jacob Chacko, Haris Subacius, Sanjay Bhojraj, Jeffrey J Goldberger, Alan H Kadish
American Journal of Cardiology 2012 September 1, 110 (5): 615-20
Early repolarization (ER) on a 12-lead electrocardiogram has recently been associated with ventricular tachyarrhythmias (VTAs) in patients without structural heart disease and in patients with healed myocardial infarction (MI). An association between ER and VTAs in the setting of acute ST-segment elevation MI (STEMI) has not been explored. In a single-center retrospective case-control design, 50 patients with STEMI complicated by VTAs (cases), defined as ventricular fibrillation, sustained ventricular tachycardia, or nonsustained ventricular tachycardia within 72 hours of the index hospitalization, were matched for age and gender with 50 subjects with STEMI without VTAs (controls). Electrocardiograms obtained an average of 1 year before STEMI were analyzed for ER pattern, defined as notching or slurring of the terminal QRS complex or J-point elevation >0.1 mV above baseline in ≥ 2 contiguous leads. A higher prevalence of ER was associated with VTAs overall in cases compared to controls (26% vs 4%, p = 0.01) and localized to anterior (16% vs 0%) and inferior (14% vs 2%, p = 0.07) leads but not lateral limb leads. Notching (10% vs 2%, p = 0.1) and J-point elevation (16% vs 0%) were more common in cases. Slurring was uncommon. ER was associated with VTAs (odds ratio [OR] 6.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.5 to 28.8, p = 0.01), even after adjustment for creatine kinase-MB (OR 9.2, 95% CI 1.6 to 53.4, p = 0.01) and ejection fraction (OR 5.7, 95% CI 1.2 to 27.1, p = 0.03). In conclusion, ER is associated with VTAs in patients with STEMI even after adjustment for left ventricular ejection fraction or creatine kinas-MB levels. Larger prospective studies exploring potential associations and mechanisms of ventricular arrhythmogenesis with ER pattern are needed.

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