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Microvolt T-wave alternans in patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting: a pilot study


Microvolt T-wave alternans in patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting: a pilot study



Heart Lung and Vessels 7(1): 27-34



ISSN/ISBN: 2282-8419

PMID: 25861588

We designed a prospective observational study targeting a selective population of patients undergoing elective coronary artery bypass grafting with normal systolic function. In this study we looked at the prevalence of pre-operative microvolt T-wave alternans and if it predicts atrial fibrillation after surgery. The inclusion criteria included all patients referred to the cardiothoracic outpatient clinic for elective bypass, who can perform aerobic exercise, with a recent exercise stress test exercising at least to 85% of the maximal predicted heart rate (220 - age) and with non-limiting chest pain at maximal exercise. Twenty patients met the inclusion/exclusion criteria between May 2008 and February 2010. The hospital course of those patients was followed, and in-hospital events were recorded. Nine out twenty (45%) of patients had a non-negative microvolt T-wave alternans tracing. Six patients (30%) developed new onset atrial fibrillation post surgery. Patients with non-negative microvolt level T-wave alternans are more likely to develop atrial fibrillation post coronary artery bypass grafting then patients with negative microvolt level T-wave alternans (p=0.05). This pilot study provides the first clinical evidence that patients with ischemic heart disease and normal systolic function have a high prevalence of abnormal microvolt T-wave alternans and might be at higher risk of sudden cardiac death. In addition our results show that microvolt level T-wave alternans predicts post coronary artery bypass grafting new onset atrial fibrillation.

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Accession: 058315731

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