Aims: From the spectrum of electrocardiogram (ECG) changes that may occur in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), there is no criterion reported to be useful for risk stratification. We sought to determine whether there was a relationship between the resting ECG findings and prognosis in patients with HCM.
Methods and results: We retrospectively analysed data on 173 consecutive patients admitted to our centre with a diagnosis of HCM. The 12-lead ECGs were assessed for underlying rhythm, PR interval, QRS voltages, QRS width, corrected QT interval, ST-segment deviation, T-wave inversion, and left atrial enlargement (LAE). During a mean follow-up of 50 months, 6.4% of patients had a combined endpoint [sudden death or appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy]. The frequency of the combined endpoint was greater in patients with syncope, non-sustained ventricular tachycardia, maximal left ventricular (LV) wall thickness >or=30 mm, and ST-segment depression in the high lateral leads (all P < 0.05). Other ECG findings (LV hypertrophy, LAE, abnormal Q wave, abnormal ST-T changes, and underlying rhythm), family history of sudden death, and LV outflow obstruction were not related to the combined endpoint. The results of our multivariate analysis demonstrated that ST-segment depression in the high lateral leads (OR: 20.0, 95% CI: 12.7-27.5; P = 0.0001) and syncope (OR: 19.0, 95% CI: 11.7-26.9; P = 0.0001) were the predictors of sudden death or appropriate ICD therapy in patients with HCM.
Conclusion: The results of this study indicated that, in addition to generally accepted risk factors, ST-segment depression in the high lateral leads could be of prognostic significance in HCM patients.