Tuberk Toraks 2013 ;61(1):38-42
Clinic of Cardiology, Istanbul Mehmet Akif Ersoy Chest and Cardiovascular Surgery Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.
Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of chronic morbidity and mortality. Bronchial obstruction and increased pulmonary vascular resistance impairs right atrial functions. In this study, we aimed to investigate the effect of bronchial obstruction on p wave axis in patients with COPD and usefulness of electrocardiography (ECG) in the evaluation of the severity of COPD.
Patients And Methods: Ninety five patients (64 male and 31 female) included to the study. Patients were in sinus rhythm, with normal ejection fraction and heart chamber sizes. Their respiratory function tests and 12 lead electrocardiograms were obtained at same day. Correlations with severity of COPD and ECG findings including p wave axis, p wave duration, QRS axis, QRS duration were studied.
Results: The mean age was 58 ± 12 years. Their mean p wave axis was 62 ± 18 degrees. In this study, p wave axis has demonstrated significant positive correlations with stages of COPD and QRS axis but significant negative correlations with FEV1, FEF, BMI and QRS duration. P wave axis increases with increasing stages of COPD.
Conclusion: Verticalization of the frontal p wave axis may be an early finding of worsening of COPD before occurrences of other ECG changes of hypertrophy and enlargement of right heart chambers such as p pulmonale. Verticalization of the frontal p wave axis reflecting right atrial electrical activity and right heart strain may be a useful parameter for quick estimation of the severity of COPD in an out-patient cared.