Non-invasive evaluation of cardiac abnormalities in heat stroke pilgrims

Int J Cardiol. 1992 Nov;37(2):151-4. doi: 10.1016/0167-5273(92)90202-e.


Serial electrocardiograms as well as echocardiographic studies of 51 pilgrims suffering from acute heat stroke (mean rectal temperature 41.6 degrees C) were performed. All patients were examined immediately after cooling and 24 h later whenever possible. Regional wall motion abnormalities were detected in 9 cases (17.6%) while pericardial effusion was observed in 13 cases (25%) and asymmetrical septal hypertrophy was detected in 8 cases (15.6%). Other cardiac abnormalities included right ventricular dilatation and increased in left ventricular internal dimensions in 4 cases (7.8%), respectively. Thirteen cases (25.5%) had normal echocardiographic findings. Forty (78%) patients had sinus tachycardia while 8 cases (15.7%) showed atrial fibrillation with uncontrolled ventricular rate, and 3 (5.8%) had sinus bradycardia. Heat stroke electrocardiograms showed tracings demonstrating ST segment depression, compatible with ischaemia in 9 cases, while in 6 cases there were nonspecific T wave changes, whereas in another 4 cases the tracings demonstrated different conduction abnormalities. The collected data were analysed and compared to those of 43 control patients. The adverse effects of heat stroke on the heart are multifactorial requiring the utmost attention and understanding, as they reflect the patient's cardiovascular status.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology*
  • Cardiac Output / physiology
  • Coronary Circulation / physiology
  • Echocardiography*
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology
  • Heart Failure / physiopathology*
  • Heat Exhaustion / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Religion and Medicine*
  • Transients and Migrants*