PROMOTING ACCESS TO AFRICAN RESEARCH

West African Journal of Medicine

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register



The Electrical Axis of the Heart in Nigerian Patients with Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease in Benin City

AO Obasohan, EE Egbagbe, AE Bazuaye

Abstract


Background: Of the electrocardiographic changes in chronic obstructive lung disease (COLD) patients, a shift of the P wave axis greater than 90° which is highly characteristic, is said to be due to hyperinflation and does not occur in interstitial lung disease.
Objective : To describe the electrocardiographic changes in chronic obstructive lung disease patients.
Methods: The electrical axis of the various waves of the ECG using the hexiaxial reference system in 92 Nigerian patients with COLD were examined, 39 of whom had associated cor pulmonale,. P wave axis greater than 90° was present in 2(19.1%) of 17 patients with COLD alone and 15(41.7%) out of 36 with development of cor pulmonale (p<0.001). The mean P wave axis was 64.7 ± 10.6° in those without cor pulmonale while it was significantly shifted to the right (83.9°) in those with cor pulmonale. The mean QRS axis was 53.50 ± 21.2° and 89.0 ±12.4° in those without and with cor pulmonale respectively (p=0.7716). The QRS axis was normal in all but one of those without cor pulmonale while there was a right axis deviation in 51.7% of those with it. ST and T wave changes were mainly present in those with associated cor pulmonale.
Conclusion: The study shows that a shift of the electrical axis of the heart occurs in COLD patients mainly with the development of right ventricular hypertrophy (cor pulmonale), rather than the hyperinflation.



AJOL African Journals Online