Document Detail

Electrocardiographic changes in therapeutic hypothermia.
Jump to Full Text
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22673196     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: During therapeutic hypothermia (TH) ECG abnormalities such as Osborn waves and/or ST segment elevation have been described. However, the incidence and prognostic value of these ECG changes are uncertain given the small-scale studies that have been carried out to date. The aim of this study is to further evaluate the electrocardiographic changes during therapeutic hypothermia. METHODS: During a period of 3 years 81 patients (age 63 +/- 14 years) were included retrospectively. All patients underwent therapeutic hypothermia after being resuscitated. ECG registrations before, during and after TH were collected and analyzed. Patients were divided into 2 groups based on the presence or absence of transmural ischemia ST elevation on the first representative ECG upon arrival at the hospital (STEMI and non-STEMI). RESULTS: A total of 243 electrocardiograms were analyzed. During TH 24 patients (30%) had Osborn waves that disappeared in 22 patients (92%) after regaining normal body temperature. The presence of Osborn waves was not associated with age, gender, average pH, electrolytes, or lactate levels and was not associated with excess in-hospital mortality. In 10 patients (12%, 6 non-STEMI patients) new STEMI was observed during TH, which disappeared after TH discontinuation. The STEMI group (44 patients) had significantly more Osborn waves during TH than the non-STEMI group (38.6% vs. 15.2%, 0R 3,508; 95% CI 1,281-9,610). CONCLUSIONS: Hypothermia induced Osborn waves are relatively common and are not associated with an unfavorable short-term outcome. Therapeutic hypothermia is associated with ECG changes that may mimic STEMI.
Corina L Rolfast; Erik J Lust; Carel C de Cock
Related Documents :
22336636 - Ischemia modified albumin: an oxidative stress marker in β-thalassemia major.
21953486 - Detection of icp0 protein in tear fluid of individuals with active herpetic epithelial ...
22785416 - Duodenal intraepithelial lymphocytosis with normal villous architecture in pediatric pa...
11510916 - Effect of low molecular weight heparin on bone metabolism and hyperlipidemia in patient...
15515746 - Value of technetium scintigraphy and iodine uptake measurement during follow-up of diff...
20845516 - Diabetes mellitus and hepatocellular carcinoma: comparison of chinese patients with and...
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-6-6
Journal Detail:
Title:  Critical care (London, England)     Volume:  16     ISSN:  1466-609X     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-6-7     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9801902     Medline TA:  Crit Care     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  R100     Citation Subset:  -    
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Full Text
Journal Information
Journal ID (nlm-ta): Crit Care
Journal ID (iso-abbrev): Crit Care
ISSN: 1364-8535
ISSN: 1466-609X
Publisher: BioMed Central
Article Information
Download PDF
Copyright ©2012 Rolfast et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Received Day: 20 Month: 12 Year: 2011
Revision Received Day: 28 Month: 3 Year: 2012
Accepted Day: 6 Month: 6 Year: 2012
Print publication date: Year: 2012
Electronic publication date: Day: 6 Month: 6 Year: 2012
Volume: 16 Issue: 3
First Page: R100 Last Page: R100
PubMed Id: 22673196
ID: 3580650
Publisher Id: cc11369
DOI: 10.1186/cc11369

Electrocardiographic changes in therapeutic hypothermia
Corina L Rolfast1 Email:
Erik J Lust1 Email:
Carel C de Cock1 Email:
1Department of Cardiology and Institute for Cardiovascular Research VU, VU University Medical Center, De Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Post-anoxic encephalopathy is a common complication after an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA). The risk of neurological damage remains high even after being successfully resuscitated [1-5]. Hours and days after successful resuscitation, further damage can be caused by multiple deployed cascades - such as excitotoxicity by the release of certain amino acids and free oxygen radicals that trigger a chemical reaction leading to further DNA damage and apoptosis of brain cells [6,7].

The current guidelines recommend mild therapeutic hypothermia (TH) to prevent neurological damage after a cardiac arrest. Hypothermia is defined as a body temperature <35°C [8]. Using mild temperatures of 32 to 33°C, relatively few side effects have been reported. A number of studies have conclusively shown that mild hypothermia significantly reduced the risk of hypoxic brain damage and has a beneficial effect on short-term survival [9-11]. Although the pathophysiology underlying these results has insufficiently been clarified, applying mild hypothermia after resuscitation has become a standard of care worldwide.

Hypothermia also has an influence on the conduction of the heart. Some small studies have shown that hypothermia leads to electrocardiographic (ECG) changes including Osborn waves [12,13]. Several case reports describe abnormalities during TH that may be indicative of cardiac ischemia, particularly ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) [14-17]. However, these studies were too small to make clear conclusions on the incidence and prognostic value of these changes. The aim of the present study is to further evaluate the electrocardiographic changes during TH after OHCA in a larger cohort and to study whether these changes were associated with an adverse outcome.

Materials and methods

The study was approved by the VU University Medical Center institutional review board (number R 2011/161, IRB 00002991. In the period of January 2007 to October 2009 TH was applied to 109 consecutive patients. By protocol, midazolam and propovol were used for sedation. A 12-lead ECG was collected from all patients in addition to clinical and laboratory parameters.

Patients were included if one or more ECGs with the patient's corresponding body temperature before, during and after TH were present. Patients with a complete left bundle branch block (11 patients) and patients with a pacemaker rhythm (2 patients) were excluded. ECG registration was incomplete in 15 patients and these patients were also excluded. Eighty-one patients were thus included and 243 ECGs were analyzed.

All ECGs were assessed by two experienced cardiologists (CDC, EJL). During TH a temperature averaging 32°C (minimum 29°C, maximum 34°C) was maintained for 12 to 24 hours. The presenting arrhythmia was defined as that initially recorded by the emergency medical services, and this was judged by two cardiologists (CCdC, EJL). When the initial strip was not available, the rhythm was identified from the emergency medical services report. Ventricular fibrillation (VF) was defined as a pulseless condition with specific features on the cardiac recording, while pulseless electrical activity was defined as the absence of a pulse with the appearance of an organized electrical rhythm [18].

Patients were divided into two groups, based on the presence or absence of signs of acute transmural ischemia on the 12-lead ECG on admission: STEMI group and non-STEMI group. Patients with ST segment elevation ≥1 mm in ≥2 contiguous leads were considered to have STEMI, and these patients underwent emergency coronary angiography and primary percutaneous coronary intervention [19]. In the non-STEMI patient group, a different cause than coronary artery disease was assumed based on the clinical and electrocardiographic data upon arrival at the hospital. In these patients, no emergency coronary angiography was performed. We did not use the cardiac enzymes as markers for ischemia, considering there are conflicting data on the sensitivity and specificity of these markers in these patients to assess myocardial infarction [20].

The following parameters were analyzed before, during and after TH: heart rate, basic heart rhythm, PQ conduction time, QRS conduction time, QTc time, left anterior fascicular block, Osborn waves, pathological Q waves and ST-T segment abnormalities. Q and QS patterns were scored according to the Minnesota Code Classification System [20]. QTc intervals were calculated as described by Bossaert and colleagues [21]. The following arrhythmias were scored; atrial fibrillation, atrioventricular nodal rhythm, atrioventricular block, ventricular tachycardia, ventricular.

Statistical analysis

All statistical analyses were carried out using SPSS (SPSS Inc, Chicago, Illinois, USA). Results with P <0.05 were regarded as statistically significant. When comparing two discrete variables, the chi-square test or the odds ratio (OR) was used. We used a paired t test when comparing two groups of patients. For assessment of a linear relationship between a continuous variable and a dichotomous variable, the chi-square test for trend was used.


Table 1 presents the demographics of the 81 patients included. The mean age of the patients was 63 ± 11 years and 74% were male. In all patients the onset of the cardiac arrest was outside the hospital. In 56 patients (69%) the initial rhythm was VF. In the remaining group, 19 patients (24%) presented with asystole and five patients (6%) had pulseless electrical activity. VF was more commonly present in the STEMI group (OR = 6.333; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.058 to 19.487). Acute STEMI was considered the cause of OHCA in 54 patients (56%). The in-hospital mortality in the total group was 50%. From the group of patients that survived, 38 patients (47%) were diagnosed to have moderate to severe post-anoxic encephalopathy. Survival to discharge was substantially more likely after documented VF than after documented non-VF (68% vs. 12%, OR = 15; 95% CI = 4.093 to 58.552).

All 243 ECG tracings were assessed for the presence of TH-induced electrocardiographic changes (Table 2). The heart rate showed a consistent reduction from 95 ± 15 to 58 ± 13 beats/minute (39% reduction, P <0.0001), and QTc showed a significant 7% increase (466 ± 54 milliseconds before TH to 498 ± 65 milliseconds during TH, P <0.0001). The ECG before initiating TH showed no Osborn waves in any patient. Osborn waves occurred in 24 patients (30%) during TH. In 22 of these patients, the Osborn waves disappeared after regaining normal body temperature. A direct correlation between the temperature during TH and the emergence of Osborn waves was not observed (P = 0.382). Osborn waves were significantly more prevalent during cooling in the STEMI group than in the non-STEMI group (38.6% vs. 15.2%, OR = 3.508, 95% CI = 1.281 to 9.610). The presence of Osborn waves was not associated with an increase in in-hospital mortality (50.9% vs. 45.8%, OR = 0.817, 95% CI = 0.314 to 2.12). TH-induced Osborn waves also showed no relation to age or gender, and potassium and calcium levels did not correlate with any ECG changes. The two patients with persistent Osborn waves both survived until hospital discharge.

The average pH level at admission was 7.09 ± 0.18, ranging from 6.67 ± 0.12 to 7.39 ± 0.20. The average lactate concentration at admission was 6.93 ± 2.1 mmol/l, ranging from 0.50 ± 0.12 to 51.4 ± 16.0 mmol/l. A correlation between pH and lactate levels at admission and Osborn waves during cooling was not observed (P = 0.651 and P = 0.187, respectively). Of the 37 patients in the non-STEMI group, six patients developed new ST elevation during TH (Table 2). Two of the six patients were younger than 35 years old without a cardiac history (see Figure 1). As a result of the ST-segment changes during TH, two patients underwent emergency coronary angiography showing normal epicardial coronary arteries. In five of the six patients, the ST segment elevation disappeared after TH.

In addition, four patients in the STEMI group developed new ST elevation during TH (Table 2). Two of the four patients had a proven acute anterior wall infarction and developed new ST-segment elevation in the inferior leads during TH. The remaining two patients had a proven inferior wall infarction and developed new ST-segment elevation in the anterior leads. Of interest, there was no reciprocal depression corresponding with the new ST elevations during TH. In two of the four patients, the ECG tracing after TH showed ST-segment elevation in the leads that represented the myocardial infarction. In the six patients classified as nonischemic, all had echocardiography to assess the need for coronary intervention. Global and/or regional wall motion abnormalities were observed in two patients, who subsequently underwent emergency coronary angiography showing no abnormalities. In none of the patients was a percutaneous coronary intervention performed. The new ST elevation that developed during TH disappeared in all patients after TH. Eight patients developed a pathological Q wave during cooling, while there were no pathological Q waves before TH. All eight of these patients, however, were classified as the STEMI group before TH initiation.


The Advanced Life Support Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation published guidelines on OHCA patients, recommending cooling to 32 to 34°C for 12 to 24 hours in 2003 [22]. TH has been rapidly implemented since then, with the number of ICUs using this therapy reported to be up to 95% [23]. Although ECG abnormalities associated with hypothermia were described in 1938, remarkably few studies including a limited number of patients have focused on the prevalence and possible predictive value of these abnormalities [12-17].

Rankin and Rae studied 22 patients with accidental hypothermia and observed Osborn waves in one-half of the study cohort [12]. The mean temperature was low (29.8 ± 3.3°C) as compared with TH, however, and in 50% of patients the temperature on admission was <30°C. Atrial fibrillation was seen in 27% and QTc prolongation in 90% of patients. Mortality was high (64%) and a relation with outcome of ECG abnormalities or arrhythmias was not reported [12].

Vassallo and colleagues studied 100 ECGs in 43 consecutive patients with accidental hypothermia [14]. Presenting temperatures were low, with 63% of patients ranging from 31.7 to 26.1°C. Osborn waves were present in all ECGs where the temperature was ≤30.5°C. Changes in QTc were not reported, and atrial fibrillation was seen in 19% of patients. Okada and colleagues studied 50 patients with accidental hypothermia and reported Osborn waves in 80% of patients [13]. The presence and size of the Osborn wave were inversely related to body temperature, and in three patients persistent Osborn waves were seen after prolonged hypothermia. The same group studied the incidence of arrhythmias during accidental hypothermia and observed atrial fibrillation in 23 patients (38%). A substantial number (70%) had a presenting body temperature <32º C. No significant difference in mortality was observed between patients with or without atrial fibrillation during hypothermia [13].

No studies on ECG abnormalities and arrhythmias during TH have been published. The main finding of the present study is that Osborn waves are a relatively common finding in OHCA patients receiving TH, being observed in 30% of all patients. The prevalence of TH-associated Osborn waves is substantially lower as compared with studies on patients with accidental hypothermia and is in concordance with earlier observations that these ECG abnormalities are inversely correlated with temperature [14]. In our study, the temperature maintained during TH was on average 32°C and 86.4% of the study cohort had a body temperature between 32 and 34°C during TH. The presence of Osborn waves was not associated with a higher in-hospital mortality. TH-induced Osborn waves were not correlated with age, gender, average pH, electrolytes or lactate levels on admission. Osborn waves were significantly more present in the ischemic group than in the nonischemic group (38.6% vs. 15.2%, OR = 3.508, 95% CI = 1.281 to 9.610). In 22 of the 24 patients, the Osborn waves disappeared spontaneously after TH. This suggests that Osborn waves are not an expression of cardiac structural changes occurring during hypothermia. Persistence of Osborn waves was also reported by Vassallo and coworkers and might reflect underlying structural heart disease [14].

A significant increase in QTc during TH was observed, which is in concordance with earlier studies. QRS duration was not influenced by TH. The most common arrhythmia during TH is atrial fibrillation, which has been reported to range from 19 to 38%. In our study, atrial fibrillation was seen in 18 patients (22%) and no association with the presence of atrial fibrillation and in-hospital mortality was found. ST-segment abnormalities are almost always present in up to 98% in our series. TH-associated ST-segment elevation has occasionally been reported in earlier studies and can mimic acute myocardial infarction [17]. Misdiagnosis in these cases can lead to inappropriate administration of thrombolytic therapy or unnecessary transport of these critically ill patients to a catheterization room. In addition, these patients can be subjected to nephrotoxic agents during coronary angiography.

Characteristics of the 10 patients in the present study who developed ST-segment elevation (12%) are shown in Table 3. Reciprocal ST-segment depression was not observed in any of these cases. Six out of the 10 patients with new ST elevation developing during TH belonged to the non-STEMI group. However, three of the six patients had a history of myocardial infarction. In the ischemic group, two patients with angiographically proven inferior infarction developed new ST-segment elevation during TH in the anterior leads, whereas two patients with an angiographically proven anterior STEMI had new ST elevations in the inferior leads. TH-induced ST-segment elevation disappeared in all patients after regaining normal body temperature. Reciprocal ST-segment depression in STEMI is often considered to be mirror-image changes or remote ischemia in a distant territory in patients with multivessel coronary artery disease [24,25]. The observed ST-segment elevation during TH probably reflects a different mechanism where heterogeneity in repolarization leads to a current flowing from the normal myocardium towards an area with the short action potential [26]. This mechanism may potentially lead to re-entrant tachycardia, but this was not observed in the present cohort.


Some important limitations have to be discussed. Although this is to date the largest study evaluating ECG findings in hypothermic patients, absolute numbers in this retrospective analysis are relatively small. In addition, comparison with studies on accidental hypothermia is ambiguous since body temperature in accidental hypothermia is substantially lower as compared with TH. Finally, patients were divided into STEMI and non-STEMI etiology of OHCA based on the first 12-lead ECG, which may not always reflect the true underlying pathophysiological substrate.


TH is not uncommonly associated with abnormal ECG findings such as Osborn waves, prolongation of the QTc interval and atrial fibrillation, which have no impact on in-hospital outcome. TH-induced ST-segment elevation mimicking STEMI was seen in 12% of all patients. Absence of reciprocal ST-segment depression may be indicative of pseudo-infarction, which may prevent inappropriate or hazardous therapy.

Key messages

• Osborne waves are the most common ECG changes during TH, observed in almost one-third of patients.

• The presence of Osborne waves is not associated with adverse in-hospital outcome.

• ST-segment elevation during hypothermia was seen in 12% of patients and may mimic acute myocardial infarction; however, unlike acute infarction, an absence of reciprocal ST depression was found in all patients.


CI: confidence interval; ECG: electrocardiogram; OHCA: out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; OR: odds ratio; STEMI: ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction; TH: therapeutic hypothermia; VF: ventricular fibrillation.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

CLR carried out the study, collected all data including ECG tracings and blood analysis, performed the statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. EJL and CCdC supervised the conduct of the study and writing of the paper and performed ECG tracing analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Horsted TI,Rasmussen LS,Lippert FK,Nielsen SL,Outcome of out-of hospital cardiac arrest - why do physicians withhold resuscitation attempts?ResuscitationYear: 20046328729310.1016/j.resuscitation.2004.05.00515582764
Rudner R,Jalowiecki P,Karpel E,Dziurdzik P,Alberski B,Kawecki P,Survival after cardiac arrest in Katowice (Poland): outcome report according to the 'Utstein style'ResucitationYear: 20046131532510.1016/j.resuscitation.2004.01.020
Fredriksson M,Herlitz J,Engdahl J,Nineteen years experience of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in Gothenburg - reported in Utstein styleResuscitationYear: 200358374710.1016/S0300-9572(03)00115-112867308
Bunch TJ,White RD,Gersh BJ,Meverden RA,Hodge DO,Ballman KV,Hammill SC,Shen WK,Packer DL,Long-term outcomes of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest after succesful early defibrillationN Engl J MedYear: 20033482626263310.1056/NEJMoa02305312826637
Herlitz J,Bang A,Gunnarsson J,Engdahl J,Karlson BW,Lindqvist J,L Waagstein,Factors associated with survival to hospital discharge among patients hospitalized alive after out-of-hospital cardiac arrestHeartYear: 200389253010.1136/heart.89.1.2512482785
Hampton T,Researchers warm up to hypothermia after cardiac and brain traumaJAMAYear: 20072981994199517986687
Ridenour TR,Warner DS,Todd MM,McAllister AC,Mild hypothermia reduces infarct size from temporary but not permanent focal ischemia in ratsStrokeYear: 19922373373810.1161/01.STR.23.5.7331579972
Nolan JP,Soar J,Zideman DA,Biarent D,Bossaert LL,Deakin C,Koster RW,Wyllie J,Böttiger B,ERC Guidelines Writing GroupCouncil Guidelines for Resuscitation 2010. Section 1: executive summaryResuscitationYear: 2010811219127610.1016/j.resuscitation.2010.08.02120956052
Tianen M,Poutiainen E,Kovola T,Takkunen O,Häppölä O,Roine RO,Cognitive and neurophysiological outcome of cardiac arrest survivors treated with therapeutic hypothermiaStrokeYear: 2007382303230810.1161/STROKEAHA.107.48386717585081
Kim F,Olsufka M,Longstreth WT Jr,Maynard C,Carlbom D,Deem S,Kudenchuk P,Copass MK,Cobb LA,Pilot randomized clinical trial of prehospital induction of mild hypothermia in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients with a rapid infusion of 4°C normal salineCirculationYear: 20071153064307010.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.106.65548017548731
Kämäräinen A,Virkkunen I,Tenhunen J,YliHankala A,Silvast P,Prehospital induction of therapeutic hypothermia during CPR; a pilot studyResuscitationYear: 2008636036317936493
Rankin AC,Rae A,Cardiac arrhythmias during rewarming of patients with accidental hypothermiaBr Med JYear: 198428987487710.1136/bmj.289.6449.8746434119
Okada M,Nishimura F,Yoshino H,Kimura M,Ogino T,The J wave in accidental hypothermiaJ ElectrocardiolYear: 198316232810.1016/S0022-0736(83)80155-16833921
Vassallo S,Delaney KA,Hoffman RS,Slater W,Goldfrank LR,A prospective evaluation of the electrocardiographic manifestations of hypothermiaAcad Emerg MedYear: 199961121112610.1111/j.1553-2712.1999.tb00114.x10569384
Jain A,Wallis DE,Shah K,Blakeman BM,Moran JF,Electrocardiographic J waves after resuscitation from cardiac arrestChestYear: 1990981294129610.1378/chest.98.5.12942225988
Mattu A,Brady WJ,Perron AD,Electrocardiographic manifestations of hypothermiaAm J Emerg MedYear: 20022031432610.1053/ajem.2002.3263312098179
Nolan J,Soar J,Images in resuscitation: the ECG in hypothermiaResuscitationYear: 20056413313410.1016/j.resuscitation.2004.11.02715680518
Jacobs I,Nadkarni V,Bahr J,et al. Cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation outcome reports: update and simplification of the Utstein templates for resuscitation registries. A statement for healthcare professionals from a task force of the international liaison committee on resuscitationResuscitationYear: 20046323324910.1016/j.resuscitation.2004.09.00815582757
Bradley EH,Herrin J,Wang Y,Barton BA,Webster TR,Mattera JA,Roumanis SA,Curtis JP,Nallamothu BK,Magid DJ,McNamara RL,Parkosewich J,Loeb JM,Krumholz HM,Strategies for reducing the door-to-balloon time in myocardial infarctionN Engl J MedYear: 20063552308232010.1056/NEJMsa06311717101617
Prineas R,Crow R,Blackburn H,The Minnesota Code Manual of Electrocardiographic FindingsYear: 1982Littleton, MA: John Wright-PSG
Bossaert L,O'Connor RE,Arntz HR,Brooks SC,Diercks D,Feitosa-Filho G,Nolan JP,Hoek TL,Walters DL,Wong A,Welsford M,Woolfrey K,Acute Coronary Syndrome Chapter CollaboratorsPart 9: acute coronary syndromes 2010 international consensus on cardiopulmonary resuscitation and emergency cardiovascular care patient with treatment recommendationsResuscitationYear: 201081E3175E3212
Nolan JP,Morley PT,Vanden Hoek TL,Hickey RW,Kloeck WG,Billi J,Böttiger BW,Morley PT,Nolan JP,Okada K,Reyes C,Shuster M,Steen PA,Weil MH,Wenzel V,Hickey RW,Carli P,Vanden Hoek TL,Atkins D,International Liaison Committee on ResuscitationTherapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest: an advisory statement by the advanced life support task force of the International Liaison Committee on ResuscitationCirculationYear: 200310811812110.1161/01.CIR.0000079019.02601.9012847056
Binks AC,Murphy RE,Prout RE,Bhayani S,Griffiths CA,Mitchell T,Padkin A,Nolan JP,Therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest: implementation in UK intensive care unitsAnaesthesiaYear: 20106526026510.1111/j.1365-2044.2009.06227.x20085568
Glusman A,Hasan K,Roguin N,Contraindication to thrombolytic therapy in accidental hypothermia simulating acute myocardial infarctionInt J CardiolYear: 199022692722394532
Norell MS,Lyons JP,Gardener JE,Layton CA,Balcon R,Significance of 'reciprocal' ST segment depression: left ventriculographic observations during left anterior descending coronary angiographyJ Am Coll CardiolYear: 1989131270127410.1016/0735-1097(89)90299-42522957
Hoogendijk MG,Potse M,Coronel R,Early repolarisation patterns: the good, the bad and the uglyHeart RhythmYear: 2012923023110.1016/j.hrthm.2011.09.06421952004


[Figure ID: F1]
Figure 1 

Electrocardiogram changes before and during therapeutic hypothermia. Example of electrocardiogram changes (A) before and(B) during therapeutic hypothermia in an 18-year old out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patient.

[TableWrap ID: T1] Table 1 

Demographic factors in the total study cohort

Age (years) 63 ± 14
Male/female 60 (74%)/21 (26%)
Index arrhythmia
 Ventricular fibrillation 56 (69%)
 Nonventricular fibrillation (pulseless electrical activity/asystole) 25 (31%)
Heart rhythm at hospital arrival
 Sinus rhythm 56 (69%)
 Atrial fibrillation 18 (22%)
 Atrial flutter 1 (1%)
 Atrioventricular nodal rhythm 6 (8%)
Underlying condition
 Myocardial infarction 45 (56%)
 Asphyxia/aspiration 5 (6%)
 Pulmonary embolism 5 (6%)
 Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 2 (3%)
 Brugada syndrome 1 (1%)
 Myocarditis 1 (1%)
 Severe aortic valve stenosis 3 (4%)
 Advanced heart failure 2 (3%)
 Unknown 17 (21%)

Data presented as mean ± standard deviation or n (%).

[TableWrap ID: T2] Table 2 

Electrocardiographic changes and arrhythmia before, during and after therapeutic hypothermia

Before TH During TH After TH
Heart rate (beats/minute) 95 ± 26 58 ± 15 87 ± 17
PQ duration (milliseconds) 172 ± 45 175 ± 44 155 ± 34
QRS duration (milliseconds) 103 ± 28 99 ± 21 89 ± 18
QTc (milliseconds) 466 ± 54 498 ± 65 460 ± 55
LAFB 14 7 6
Osborn waves 0 24 2
ST elevation 38 22 12
ST depression 79 74 68
Right bundle branch block 7 9 8
Left bundle branch block 0 1 0
Q wave 15 23 21
Atrial fibrillation 16 4 4
Atrioventricular nodal rhythm 6 3 3
Ventricular tachycardia/ventricular fibrillation 6 1 0

Data presented as mean ± standard deviation or n (%). TH, therapeutic hypothermia.

[TableWrap ID: T3] Table 3 

Characteristics of patients that developed ST-segment elevation during therapeutic hypothermia

ST-segment elevation

Patient Before TH New during TH After TH Diagnosis at admission Cardiac history Age (years) Gender
1 0 AW = 4, IW = 2 0 Unknown Hypertension 72 Female
2 0 AW = 4 0 Asphyxia COPD 25 Male
3 0 AW = 2 0 Unknown CABG 67 Male
4 0 AW = 2 0 Aspiration - 34 Male
5 0 IW = 2 0 Unknown Old MI 52 Male
6 0 AW = 2 AW = 2 Aspiration CAD 59 Female
1 IW = 0, AW = 4 IW = 3, AW = 3 IW = 0, AW = 3 Acute AW infarction Hypertension 65 Female
2 IW = 0, AW = 5 IW = 3, AW = 5 0 Acute AW infarction - 50 Female
3 IW = 3, AW = 0 IW = 2, AW = 4 0 Acute IW infarction - 58 Male
4 IW = 3, AW = 0 IW = 3, AW = 2 IW = 2, AW = 0 Acute IW infarction Old MI 47 Male

AW, anterior wall; CABG, coronary artery bypass graft; CAD, coronary artery disease; COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; IW, inferior wall; MI, myocardial infarction; TH, therapeutic hypothermia; VF, ventricular fibrillation.

Article Categories:
  • Research

Previous Document:  Canine cerebral leishmaniasis: Potential role of matrix metalloproteinase-2 in the development of ne...
Next Document:  Comparison of alcohol impairment of behavioral and attentional inhibition.