Serial electrocardiographic recording in aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage.
We prospectively studied serial electrocardiograms in 61 patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. Electrocardiographic changes were related to the initial level of consciousness, to subsequent events, and to outcome after 3 months. All 61 patients had at least one abnormal electrocardiogram, but cardiac disease did not contribute directly to morbidity or mortality. Fast rhythm disturbances, ischemic changes, or both on the electrocardiograms were significantly correlated with poor outcome but not with specific outcome events, particularly not with rebleeding or cerebral ischemia. The Glasgow Coma Scale score on admission and the amount of cisternal and (to a lesser extent) intraventricular blood on the initial computed tomogram were also significantly correlated with poor outcome, but these factors only partially confounded the relation between electrocardiographic abnormalities and poor outcome. We conclude that in patients with aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, electrocardiographic abnormalities do not herald impending cardiac disease but indirectly reflect adverse intracranial factors. Electrocardiographic abnormalities may therefore have some independent value in predicting poor outcome.
- Copyright © 1989 by American Heart Association