Background: Recently we showed the predictive value of sum absolute QRST integral (SAI QRST) and repolarization lability for risk stratification of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in heart failure patients. The goal of this study was to compare SAI QRST and metrics of depolarization and repolarization variability in healthy men and women.
Methods: Orthogonal ECGs were recorded at rest for 10 minutes in 160 healthy men and women (mean age 39.6±14.6, 80 men). Mean spatial TT' angle, and normalized variances of T loop area, of spatial T vector amplitude, of QT interval and Tpeak-Tend area were measured for assessment of repolarization lability. Normalized variances of spatial QRS vector and QRS loop area characterized variability of depolarization. In addition, variability indices (VI) were calculated to adjust for normalized heart rate variance. SAI QRST was measured as the averaged arithmetic sum of areas under the QRST curve.
Results: Men were characterized by shorter QTc (430.3±21.7 vs. 444.7±22.2 ms; P<0.0001) and larger SAI QRST (282.1±66.7 vs. 204.9±58.5 mV*ms; P<0.0001). Repolarization lability negatively correlated with spatial T vector amplitude. Adjusted by normalized heart rate variance, QT variability index was significantly higher in women than in men (-1.54±0.38 vs. -1.70±0.33; P = 0.017). However, in multivariate logistic regression after adjustment for body surface area, QTc, and spatial T vector amplitude, healthy men had 1.5-3 fold higher probability of having larger repolarization lability, as compared to healthy women (T vector amplitude variability index odds ratio 3.88 (95%CI 1.4-11.1; P = 0.012).
Conclusions: Healthy men more likely than women have larger repolarization lability.