Co-occurrence and phase relationship between alternans of the R wave amplitude (RWAA) and of the T wave (TWA) in ECGs

Sahar Alaei, Siqi Wang, Paul Anaya, Abhijit Patwardhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Alternans of the T wave in ECG (TWA) has high negative but poor positive predictive value in the prediction of ventricular arrhythmia. Alternans of repolarization duration, i.e. of action potential duration (APD), causes TWA. Prior studies from our group showed that alternans of the maximum rate of depolarization also occurs when APD alternans occurs and the relationship between these two has the potential to affect formation of spatial discord, which may be more arrhythmogenic. Therefore, exploration of the co-occurrence of the alternans of depolarization and repolarization has the potential to improve the prediction. In the present study, we used a mathematical model to show that depolarization alternans appears as alternating amplitude of the R wave in the ECG. We also investigated the link between changes in R wave amplitude and TWA. Results from clinical grade ECGs available in the PhysioNet database show that amplitude of the R wave can change as predicted by our experimental results and the mathematical model. Using TWA as the marker of repolarization alternans and R wave amplitude alternans (RWAA) as the marker of depolarization alternans, we investigated the phase relation between them and observed that, similar to previous results from animals, the phase relation between the two can spontaneously change. That is, alternans of depolarization does co-occur with TWA and the phase relationship between the two is not invariant. These results support further investigation of the use of RWAA as a complementary method to TWA to improve positive predictive value for prediction of ventricular arrhythmia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103785
JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Phase relation between TWA and RWAA
  • RWAA
  • TWA
  • Ventricular arrhythmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Computer Science Applications


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