Repolarization Heterogeneity Measured With T-Wave Area Dispersion in Standard 12-Lead ECG Predicts Sudden Cardiac Death in General Population
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Background: We developed a novel electrocardiographic marker, T-wave area dispersion (TW-Ad), which measures repolarization heterogeneity by assessing interlead T-wave areas during a single cardiac cycle and tested whether it can identify patients at risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the general population.
Methods and Results: TW-Ad was measured from standard digital 12-lead ECG in 5618 adults (46% men; age, 50.9±12.5 years) participating in the Health 2000 Study—an epidemiological survey representative of the Finnish adult population. Independent replication was performed in 3831 participants of the KORA S4 Study (Cooperative Health Research in the Region of Augsburg; 49% men; age, 48.7±13.7 years; mean follow-up, 8.8±1.1 years). During follow-up (7.7±1.4 years), 72 SCDs occurred in the Health 2000 Survey. Lower TW-Ad was univariately associated with SCD (0.32±0.36 versus 0.60±0.19; P<0.001); it had an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.809. TW-Ad (≤0.46) conferred a hazard ratio of 10.8 (95% confidence interval, 6.8–17.4; P<0.001) for SCD; it remained independently predictive of SCD after multivariable adjustment for clinical risk markers (hazard ratio, 4.6; 95% confidence interval, 2.7–7.4; P<0.001). Replication analyses performed in the KORA S4 Study confirmed an increased risk for cardiac death (unadjusted hazard ratio, 5.5; 95% confidence interval, 3.2–9.5; P<0.001; multivariable adjusted hazard ratio, 1.9; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–3.5; P<0.05).
Conclusion: Low TW-Ad, reflecting increased heterogeneity of repolarization, in standard 12-lead resting ECGs is a powerful and independent predictor of SCD in the adult general population.
- Received June 22, 2017.
- Accepted December 18, 2017.
- © 2018 American Heart Association, Inc.