The prediction of right atrial pressure using electrocardiogram: a novel approach

ESC Heart Fail. 2021 Dec;8(6):5040-5044. doi: 10.1002/ehf2.13570. Epub 2021 Sep 3.

Abstract

Aims: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a serious disorder that can complicate pulmonary and cardiovascular diseases. Right atrial (RA) pressure is a robust predictor of the pulmonary hypertension severity, which is measured via right heart catheterization. Limited studies have been carried out to assess the association between electrocardiogram data and the RA pressure as a prognostic factor of PH. In this study, the relation between P wave and PR segment changes with RA pressure was evaluated.

Methods and results: In this study, 94 patients in PH groups of 1, 3, and 4, based on the World Health Organization classification, were entered. RA pressure was measured using the right heart catheterization. PR segment and P wave morphology in leads II and V1 were evaluated in patient's electrocardiogram. The median age of the patients was 35.5 years old in which 64.9% of them were female. The distribution of patients in groups 1, 3, and 4 PH were 77.7%, 5.3%, and 17%, respectively. Among the studied P wave and PR segment changes, PR segment depression in lead II and pulmonary P wave in lead V1 had significant relation with the RA pressure (P-value <0.001). The sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive values of PR segment depression for detection of patients with high RA pressure (RA pressure > 14 mmHg) were 80%, 84%, and 94%. The specificity and negative predictive values of pulmonary P wave in lead V1 were determined 89% and 88%.

Conclusions: It was found that the PR segment depression in lead II and pulmonary P wave in lead V1 associate with the RA pressure in patients with precapillary PH. PR segment depression had useful sensitivity, specificity, and negative predictive values, and the pulmonary P wave in lead V1 had acceptable specificity and negative predictive values for detection of patients with high RA pressure. Therefore, the electrocardiogram can be used as a screening tool for determination of pulmonary hypertension severity.

Keywords: Electrocardiogram; P wave; PR segment; Pulmonary hypertension; Right atrial pressure; Right heart catheterization.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Atrial Pressure*
  • Cardiac Catheterization
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / diagnosis
  • Predictive Value of Tests