Linkage between mechanical and electrical alternans in patients with chronic heart failure

Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology
M KodamaYoshifusa Aizawa


Progressive heart failure and ventricular fibrillation are major causes of death in patients with chronic heart failure. Mechanical alternans (pulsus alternans) has been observed in patients with severe congestive heart failure. Visible T wave alternans occasionally is a precursor of ventricular fibrillation. We investigated the occurrence of both cardiac alternans in 94 patients with chronic heart failure. Mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) of the study population was 35 +/- 10%. Mechanical alternans was detected in left ventricular pressure during diagnostic cardiac catheterization. Only sustained mechanical alternans was included in the study. Visible T wave alternans, not microvolt alternans, was noted on standard surface ECG. Cardiac alternans was examined at rest, during physiologic tachycardia, and during stepwise dobutamine loading (2-4-8 microg/kg/min). Prevalences of mechanical and electrical alternans were 19.1% and 4.4% at rest, 45.5% and 8.0% during physiologic tachycardia, and 62.1% and 9.5% under dobutamine loading. Overall, 70 patients (74.5%) showed mechanical alternans and 10 patients (10.6%) showed T wave alternans. T wave alternans always appeared with large mechanical alternans. Among patients w...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Cardiac Arrhythmia
Electrocardiographic Recorders
Cardiac Conduction System
Myocardial Failure
Stroke Volume
Survival Analysis
Left Ventricular Function
Ventricular Dysfunction, Left

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