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Keywords:

  • cardiomyopathy;
  • early repolarization;
  • electrocardiogram;
  • heart failure;
  • sudden cardiac death

Early Repolarization Pattern in CHF

Background

Identification of patients with chronic heart failure (CHF) at a risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD) is an important objective. Early repolarization pattern (ERP) is associated with ventricular fibrillation in patients without structural heart diseases. Moreover, ERP was reported to be associated with SCD in patients with old myocardial infarction in a case-control study. However, little information is available on the prognostic significance of ERP in CHF patients. Thus, we aimed to investigate whether ERP is associated with SCD in CHF patients.

Methods and Results

The study population consisted of 132 consecutive outpatients with NYHA class I, II and III congestive heart failure and radionuclide left ventricular ejection fraction less than 40%. All patients underwent the standard 12-lead electrocardiogram at enrollment, where we assessed the presence of ERP using the criteria of J-point elevation ≥ 0.1 mV in at least 2 inferior or lateral leads. The primary endpoint of this study was SCD. At enrollment, 16 patients had ERP. During the follow-up period of 6.7 ± 3.5 years, 26 patients had SCD. Kaplan–Meier analysis showed that SCD was observed significantly more frequently in patients with ERP than in those without ERP (63% [10/16] vs 14% [16/116], P < 0.0001]. A multivariate Cox analysis revealed that ERP was significantly and independently associated with SCD (hazard ratio, 3.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.6–8.6; P = 0.002).

Conclusion

ERP in inferior leads would be associated with an increased risk of SCD in CHF patients.