Objective: There is a continuing need of methods to identify subgroups of patients at high risk of ventricular arrhythmias, in particular after myocardial infarction (MI).
Methods: We performed a singular value decomposition of repolarization potentials in individual recordings in 134 healthy males, in 203 males with old MI and without documented sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) and in 104 MI males with documented VT. We considered the absolute correlation coefficient between the first orthogonal component, constructed by matrix multiplication of the first left and right singular vectors and the QRS integral (RT1) and a similar index for the second component (RT2).
Results: Abnormally high (more than two standard deviations above the mean) value of the RT1 had a 89% specificity for VT in MI patients. Abnormally low RT2 had specificity of 87%. Both indices combined had a 97% specificity. However, sensitivity of the combined indices was only 13%.
Conclusion: Abnormalities in the correlation of orthogonal components of repolarization with depolarization are highly specific for a small group of patients with old myocardial infarction at high risk of ventricular tachycardia.