Effect of slow coronary flow on electrocardiographic parameters reflecting ventricular heterogeneity

Angiology. Jun-Jul 2007;58(3):289-94. doi: 10.1177/0003319707302486.


QT interval dispersion reflects regional variations in ventricular repolarization and cardiac electrical instability. Previous studies have showed that QT interval dispersion changes during episodes of myocardial ischemia. Slow coronary flow (SCF) in epicardial coronary arteries is a rare and unique angiographic finding. Whether this pattern of flow is associated with electrocardiographic abnormalities is unknown. Therefore, this study was designed to investigate whether SCF results in electrocardiographic (ECG) changes compared to normal coronary flow. For this aim 24 patients with angiographically proven SCF who had no obstructive coronary lesion (group I) and 25 patients without coronary artery disease (group II) were included in the study. Both groups underwent a routine standard 12-lead surface electrocardiogram recorded at 50 mm/s during rest. QT dispersion (QTd), corrected QT (QTc), and corrected QT dispersion (QTcd) were calculated. Distributions of sex, age, body mass index (BMI), and cardiac risk factors were similar in the 2 groups. Mean heart rate was similar in the 2 groups (74 +/-8 vs 77 +/- 7 p > 0.05). Mean QRS interval durations were similar in the groups (92 +/-7 vs 90 +/-6 ms p > 0.005). In group I, QTd, QTcd, and QTc, were significantly higher than in group II (QTd: 73 +/-14 vs 40 +/-14; QTcd: 71 +/-15 vs 42 +/-9; QTc: 414 +/-14 vs 388 +/-13, respectively p <0.05). In conclusion, SCF was found to be associated with prolonged QT interval and increased QT dispersion. Ischemia in microvascular level and/or altered autonomic regulation of the heart may be responsible mechanisms.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Contrast Media*
  • Coronary Angiography*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis
  • Coronary Artery Disease / physiopathology*
  • Coronary Circulation*
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iopamidol*
  • Long QT Syndrome / complications
  • Long QT Syndrome / etiology*
  • Long QT Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Research Design
  • Ventricular Dysfunction / etiology*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction / physiopathology


  • Contrast Media
  • Iopamidol