The spatial QRS-T angle: implications in clinical practice

Curr Cardiol Rev. 2013 Aug;9(3):197-210. doi: 10.2174/1573403x113099990031.


The ventricular gradient (VG) as a concept was conceived in the 1930s and its calculation yielded information that was not otherwise obtainable. The VG was not utilized by clinicians at large because it was not easy to understand and its computation time-consuming. The contemporary spatial QRS-T angle is based on the concept of the VG and defined as its mathematical and physiological integral. Its current major clinical use is to assess the cardiac primary repolarization abnormalities in 3-dimensional spatial vectorial plans which are normally untraced in the presence of secondary electrophysiological activity in a 2-dimensional routine electrocardiogram (ECG). Currently the calculation of the spatial QRS-T angle can be easily computed on the basis of a classical ECG and contributes to localization of arrhythmogenic areas in the heart by assessing overall and local heterogeneity of the myocardial ventricular action potention duration. Recent population-based studies suggest that the spatial QRS-T angle is a dominant ECG predictor of future cardiovascular events and death and it is superior to more conventional ECG parameters. Its assessment warrants consideration for intensified primary and secondary cardiovascular prevention efforts and should be included in everyday clinical practice. This review addresses the nature and diagnostic potential of the spatial QRS-T angle. The main focus is its role in ECG assessment of dispersion of repolarization, a key factor in arrythmogeneity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / epidemiology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / genetics
  • Causality
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / epidemiology
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / methods
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Prognosis
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Vectorcardiography / methods