U wave: facts, hypotheses, misconceptions, and misnomers

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 1998 Oct;9(10):1117-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8167.1998.tb00890.x.


The clinical significance of U wave is limited to the occasional obfuscation of the end of T wave and an inadequately explained U wave inversion associated with myocardial ischemia, infarction, and ventricular hypertrophy and dilatation. Lengthening of QT interval often interferes with the recognition of U wave. The characteristics of U wave are not compatible with the Purkinje or ventricular muscle repolarization hypotheses. The timing of the U wave during ventricular relaxation and the links between U wave and mechanical events favor the mechanoelectrical hypothesis of U wave genesis. Unfortunately, little research has been done to test this hypothesis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cardiomegaly / complications
  • Cardiomegaly / physiopathology
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / complications
  • Cardiomyopathy, Dilated / physiopathology
  • Diastole
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology*
  • Heart Rate
  • Heart Ventricles / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Myocardial Ischemia / complications
  • Myocardial Ischemia / physiopathology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / etiology
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / physiopathology*