Benign Versus Malignant Early Repolarization Patterns
Distinguishing the “benign” from the “malignant” patterns of early repolarization is of outmost importance because the former electrocardiogram (ECG) pattern is frequently observed in healthy individuals, whereas the latter, far more rarely, is associated with sudden death from idiopathic ventricular fibrillation (VF). It is important to analyze the three components of the early repolarization ECG pattern, that is, the J-wave proper, the ST-segment, and the ensuing T-waves. T-waves of higher amplitude and longer duration, ST-segments that are horizontal or descending (as opposed to ascending ST-segment), and low-amplitude T-waves correlate with increased risk of idiopathic VF. However, there is too much overlapping between the values of the two groups to allow for reliable diagnosis in the absence of symptoms (except for the rare “monstrous” J-waves).
KeywordsEarly repolarization Electrocardiogram Ventricular fibrillation
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