The purpose of this study was to report a novel electrocardiographic (ECG) phenomenon in acute pulmonary embolism characterized by QT interval prolongation with global T wave inversion.
Among a total of 140 study patients with a confirmed diagnosis of acute pulmonary embolism, patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria for QT interval prolongation with global T-wave inversion were examined. Each of these patients had undergone a detailed clinical evaluation including testing for myocardial injury and echocardiography.
QT interval prolongation with global T wave inversion was found in five patients (age 51 to 68 years) with acute pulmonary embolism. Four were women. Acute pulmonary embolism was diagnosed by ventilation perfusion scan in three patients and by spiral computed tomography in other two patients. None of the patients had any right or left ventricular regional wall motion abnormalities on echocardiography. All patients had changes characteristic of hemodynamically significant pulmonary embolism, including right ventricular stunning or hypokinesis and dilatation in five patients with paradoxical septal motion in four. Acute coronary syndrome was ruled out in each patient by clinical evaluation, serial ECGs and cardiac markers, and lack of regional wall motion abnormalities on echocardiography. Prolongation of QT intervals (QTc 456 to 521 msec) with global T wave inversion was noted on presentation. The ECG changes gradually resolved in one week in all patients with appropriate treatment of acute pulmonary embolism. One patient died.CONCLUSIONS: Acute pulmonary embolism may occasionally result in reversible QT interval prolongation with deep T wave inversion.
Acute pulmonary embolism should be considered among the acquired causes of the long QT syndrome.
Electrocardiographic DataPatient #RhythmRate (beats/min)QT (msec)QTc (msec)1Sinus854114892Sinus684905213Sinus784264854Sinus993554565Atrial47524463
R.M. Gowda, None.