Late potentials are unaltered by ventricular filling pressure reduction in heart failure

William G. Stevenson, Mary A. Woo, Debra K. Moser, Lynne W. Stevenson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Exacerbation of heart failure may increase susceptibility to arrhythmias. Therefore tests to assess the risk of arrhythmia, performed after hemodynamic improvement, may be of limited value. To determine whether hemodynamic improvement alters ventricular late potentials detected by signal-averaged ECG, we studied 27 consecutive patients with dilated heart failure (left ventricular ejection fraction 0.20 ± 0.06, 15 with coronary artery disease) before and 3 ± 2 days after tailored vasodilator and diuretic therapy reduced ventricular filling pressures. QRS duration, terminal QRS amplitude (root mean square [RMS]), and low-amplitude (< 40 μV) signal (LAS) duration were determined by an automated algorithm from the vector magnitude of the QRS high-pass filtered at 25 Hz and at 40 Hz. Despite marked decreases in pulmonary capillary wedge (27 ± 7 to 16 ± 5 mm Hg, p < 0.001) and right atrial (13 ± 7 to 7 ± 4 mm Hg, p < 0.001) pressures and a 20% increase in cardiac output, there was not a significant change in QRS duration, RMS, or LAS. Before and after therapy late potentials, defined as abnormal QRS duration RMS, or LAS, were present in 14 (52%) patients with filtering at 25 Hz and in 22 (81%) patients with filtering at 40 Hz. The signal-averaged ECG after hemodynamic improvement predicted the results during exacerbation of heart failure in all patients. Thus in patients with advanced heart fallure the signal-averaged ECG obtained after hemodynamic improvement reflects the findings during exacerbation of heart failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-477
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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