Prognostic value of dynamic electrocardiographic T wave changes in non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome

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Abstract

Objective

To assess the relationship between the evolution of T wave inversion (TWI) on the 24–48 h postadmission ECG and the patient characteristics, management and clinical outcomes among those with non-ST elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS).

Methods

We evaluated admission and 24–48 h follow-up ECGs of 7201 patients with NSTE-ACS from the prospective, multicentre Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) and Canadian ACS Registry I. We performed multivariable analyses to determine the association between new TWI (on follow-up ECG only), resolved TWI (on admission ECG only) and persistent TWI (on both admission and follow-up ECG) and inhospital and cumulative 6-month all-cause mortality.

Results

Patients with TWI were older, more likely to have cardiovascular risk factors, higher Killip class and GRACE risk scores. After adjustment for known prognostic factors, compared with patients presenting without TWI, new TWI was associated with significantly lower inhospital mortality (OR=0.60, 95% CI 0.38 to 0.95, p=0.029), whereas resolved (OR=1.06, 95% CI 0.65 to 1.75, p=0.81) and persistent (OR=0.73, 95% CI 0.48 to 1.11, p=0.14) TWI did not predict inhospital mortality. No TWI pattern independently predicted inhospital adverse cardiovascular events or cumulative 6-month mortality. In contrast, ST depression on the admission and follow-up ECG were independent predictors of inhospital and 6-month mortality.

Conclusions

Across the spectrum of NSTE-ACS, TWI within 48 h of presentation was associated with high-risk clinical features, but its presence or dynamic change did not provide additional prognostic value beyond other established clinical predictors.

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