Cardiac arrhythmias and left ventricular function in respiratory failure from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chest. 1990 May;97(5):1092-7. doi: 10.1378/chest.97.5.1092.


In 22 patients with COPD, we studied the relationship between left ventricular function and cardiac arrhythmias. Ventricular arrhythmias were detected on a 24-h ECG recorded at the beginning of the observation period and after a stable improvement of RF. Left ventricular function was evaluated by equilibrium-gated radionuclide angiocardiography measuring LVEF, PER and PFR. We found a significant decrease in the arrhythmia score after improvement of RF; LVEF and PFR were slightly depressed in six and nine patients, respectively. A "step-up" multiple regression analysis revealed a significant inverse correlation between PFR and ventricular arrhythmias during worsened RF, whereas LVEF, arterial blood gases and clinical data were not significantly predictive variables. Thus, a depressed left ventricular diastolic performance seems to be a predictive factor for arrhythmias during RF from COPD. The poor definition of the statistical model suggests that other presently unknown factors contribute to the genesis of ventricular arrhythmias.

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Gated Blood-Pool Imaging
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / complications*
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Models, Statistical
  • Myocardial Contraction / physiology*
  • Regression Analysis
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / etiology*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / physiopathology