Pseudoischemic "false positive" S-T segment changes induced by hyperventilation in patients with mitral valve prolapse

Am J Cardiol. 1980 May;45(5):952-8. doi: 10.1016/0002-9149(80)90162-9.


Hyperventilation-induced S-T segment changes that simulate myocardial ischemia have previously been noted, but the origin of this electrocardiographic finding has never been defined. To investigate further the basis for this response, the records were reviewed of 1,678 consecutive patients who underwent forced hyperventilation for 90 seconds and treadmill exercise testing. Twenty-eight patients (1.7 percent) were identified in whom hyperventilation resulted in ischemic-appearing S-T segment changes, and follow-up was possible in 21 (17 women, 4 men). Of the 21 patients, 16 (76 percent), including 15 (88 percent) of the 17 women, had evidence of mitral valve prolapse, 6 on auscultation alone, 2 on echocardiography alone and 6 with a combination of studies. Ten of the 21 patients had a negative exercise test; of the 11 patients who had a positive exercise test, only 1 had angiographic evidence of coronary arterial narrowing. The finding of ischemic-appearing S-T segment changes in response to forced hyperventilation has a high predictive value for the presence of mitral valve prolapse, particularly in women. The possible association of autonomic factors and mitral valve prolapse in the pathogenesis of an abnormal response to hyperventilation is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Coronary Disease / etiology*
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Exercise Test
  • False Positive Reactions
  • Female
  • Heart Auscultation
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Hyperventilation / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve / diagnostic imaging
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse / complications*
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse / diagnosis
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse / physiopathology
  • Radiography