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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 171-174

Arrhythmias and electrocardiographic changes in systolic heart failure

1 Department of Medicine, Cardiology Division, Interfaith Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA
2 Department of Internal Medicine, Cardiology Division, Interfaith Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Ashok Devkota
Department of Medicine, Interfaith Medical Center, 1545 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11213
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.179931

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Background: Heart failure is a common condition that that leads to hospitalization. It is associated with various atrial and ventricular arrhythmias. Aim: The aim of this study is to find common arrhythmias and electrocardiographic changes in hospitalized patients who have systolic heart failure. Materials and Methods: This is a retrospective study of medical records, and electrocardiograms (EKGs) of 157 patients admitted to our hospital who had systolic heart failure with ejection fraction (EF) <50% on echocardiogram. Based on EF, the patients were divided into two groups; one with EF ≤ 35% and the other with EF > 35%. Twelve-lead EKG of these patients was studied to identify common arrhythmia and demographic variables; laboratory results were compared to identify the differences. Results: A total of 157 patients with systolic heart failure, 63.7% had an EF ≤ 35%. Hypertension 82.8%, diabetes 49%, coronary artery disease 40.8%, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or bronchial asthma 22.3%, and stroke 12.1% were common associated co-morbidities. On analysis of EKG, 28.6% had tachycardia, 21.9% had prolonged PR > 200 ms, 16.3% had wide QRS > 120 ms, 70.7% had prolonged corrected QT (QTc), and 42.2% had left axis deviation. The most common arrhythmias were sinus tachycardia and atrial fibrillation/flutter which were found in 14.6% and 13.4%, respectively. The left ventricular hypertrophy was a common abnormality found in 22.4% followed by ventricular premature contractions 18.4%, atrial premature contractions 9.5%, and left bundle branch block 6.1%. Patients with severe systolic heart failure had prolonged QRS (P = 0.02) and prolonged QTc (P = 0.01) as compared to the other group. Conclusions: Sinus tachycardia and atrial fibrillation/flutter were common arrhythmias in patients with systolic heart failure. Patients with severe systolic heart failure had statistically significant prolongation of the QRS duration and QTc interval.

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