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Sinus rhythm QRS amplitude and fractionation in patients with nonischemic cardiomyopathy to identify ventricular tachycardia substrate and location

Published:September 30, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hrthm.2021.09.028

      Background

      Ventricular tachycardia (VT) substrate in left ventricular (LV) nonischemic cardiomyopathy (NICM) consists of fibrosis with surviving myocardium.

      Objective

      The purpose of this study was to determine whether, in patients with LV NICM and sustained VT, reduced QRS amplitude and QRSf during sinus rhythm can identify the presence and location of abnormal septal (S-NICM) and/or free-wall (FW-NICM) VT substrate.

      Methods

      We compared patients with NICM and VT (group 1) with electroanatomic mapping septal (S-NICM; n = 21) or free-wall (FW-NICM; n = 20) VT substrate to a 38-patient reference cohort (group 2) with cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) and NICM but no VT referred for primary prevention implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (26 [68.4%] with late gadolinium enhancement).

      Results

      Group 1 had lower QRS amplitude in leads II (0.60 ± 0.22 vs 0.86 ± 0.35, P <.001), aVR (0.60 ± 0.24 vs 0.75 ± 0.31, P = .002), aVF (0.48 ± 0.20 vs 0.70 ± 0.28, P <.001), and V2 (1.09 ± 0.52 vs 1.38 ± 0.55, P = .001) than group 2. QRS <0.55 mV in lead aVF identified VT and accompanying substrate with sensitivity 70% and specificity 71%. Most group 1 and group 2 patients had 12-lead ECG QRS fractionation (QRSf) in ≥2 contiguous leads (78% vs 63.2%, P = .14). Sensitivity and specificity for ≥2 QRSf leads identifying respective regional electroanatomic or cMRI abnormalities were 76% and 50% for inferior, 44% and 87% for lateral, and 21% and 89% for anterior leads.

      Conclusion

      In LV NICM, low frontal plane QRS (<0.55 mV in aVF) is associated with VT substrate. Although multilead QRS fractionation is associated with the presence and location of VT substrate, it is frequently identified in patients without VT with cMRI abnormalities.

      Graphical abstract

      Keywords

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