Abnormal Q waves on the admission electrocardiogram of patients with first acute myocardial infarction: prognostic implications

Clin Cardiol. 1997 May;20(5):477-81. doi: 10.1002/clc.4960200515.

Abstract

Background: Q waves developed in the subacute and persisting into the chronic phase of myocardial infarction (MI) usually signify myocardial necrosis. However, the mechanism and significance of Q waves that appear very early in the course of acute MI (< 6 h from onset of symptoms), especially if accompanied by ST elevation, are probably different.

Hypothesis: This study assesses the prognostic implications of abnormal Q waves on admission in 2,370 patients with first acute MI treated with thrombolytic therapy < 6 h of onset of symptoms.

Results: Patients with abnormal Q waves in > or = 2 leads with ST-segment elevation (n = 923) were older than patients without early Q waves (n = 1,447) (60.6 +/- 11.9 vs. 58.8 +/- 11.9 years, respectively; p = 0.0003), and had a greater incidence of hypertension (34.3 vs. 30.5%; p = 0.05) and anterior MI (60.6 vs. 41.1%; p < 0.0001). Time from onset of symptoms to therapy was longer in patients with Q waves upon admission (208 +/- 196 vs. 183 +/- 230 min; p = 0.01). Peak serum creatine kinase (2235 +/- 1544 vs. 1622 +/- 1536 IU; p < 0.0001), prevalence of heart failure during hospitalization (13.8 vs. 7.0%, p < 0.0002), hospital mortality (8.0 vs. 4.6%; p = 0.02), and cardiac mortality (6.6 vs. 4.5%, p = 0.11) were higher in patients with anterior MI and with abnormal Q waves than in those without abnormal Q waves upon admission. There was no difference in peak creatine kinase, prevalence of heart failure, in-hospital mortality, and cardiac mortality between patients with and without abnormal Q waves in inferior MI. Multivariate regression analysis confirmed that mortality is independently associated with presence of Q waves on admission (odds ratio 1.61; 95% CI 1.04-2.49; p = 0.04 for all patients; odds ratio 1.65; 95% CI 0.97-2.83; p = 0.09 for anterior wall MI.

Conclusion: Abnormal Q waves on the admission electrocardiogram (ECG) are associated with higher peak creatine kinase, higher prevalence of heart failure, and increased mortality in patients with anterior MI. Abnormal Q waves on the admission ECG of patients with inferior MI are not associated with adverse prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / drug therapy
  • Myocardial Infarction / mortality
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Admission*
  • Prognosis
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods

Substances

  • Fibrinolytic Agents