Computer analysis of exercise-induced changes in QRS duration in patients with angina pectoris and in normal subjects

Am Heart J. 1986 May;111(5):903-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-8703(86)90640-x.


Exercise-induced changes in QRS duration were assessed in 25 normal subjects and in 17 patients with stable ischemic heart disease. None had bundle branch block or were taking medications, and all patients had angina pectoris induced during the test. QRS duration and ST60 amplitude were measured by computer during rest while standing, at a heart rate of 100 to 110 bpm during exercise, at peak heart rate for the angina patients (mean of 127 bpm), and at the corresponding matched heart rate and peak heart rate for the normals (mean of 174 bpm). As heart rate increased, the patients showed significant ST60 depression. In normal subjects, the QRS duration tended to increase initially but at the matched heart rate level and at peak heart rate it decreased significantly compared to rest (p less than 0.01). The QRS duration in the angina patients increased significantly at the heart rate level of 100 to 110 bpm (p less than 0.05). Of the eight patients who reached a peak heart rate above 127 bpm, six (75%) during that period further increased QRS duration compared to three (12%) of the 25 normal subjects (p less than 0.001). We conclude that a consistent increase in QRS duration during exercise, although subtle, may be a marker of ischemia and consequently a potential diagnostic tool.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Angina Pectoris / diagnosis*
  • Angina Pectoris / physiopathology
  • Computers
  • Coronary Disease / diagnosis
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Exercise Test
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Time Factors