Electrocardiographic changes and myocardial damage in patients with acute cerebrovascular accidents.
In 100 consecutive patients with acute cerebrovascular accident, due to cerebral thrombosis in 72, cerebral hemorrhage in 12, embolus in 6, and subarachnoid hemorrhage in 10, there were 90 who had electrocardiographic abnormalities during the first three days after admission, compared to 50% in a control group. The patients with cerebrovascular accident had a 7- to 10-fold higher incidence of ST segment depression, prolonged Q-Tc interval and atrial fibrillation, and a 2- to 4-fold higher incidence of T wave inversion, conduction defects, premature ventricular beats and left ventricular hypetrophy. Patients who died had a 2-, 3- and 5-fold higher incidence of electrocardiographic evidence of recent myocardial infarction, atrial fibrillation and conduction defects than those who survived, but these changes occurred in only 5, 21 and 14% of all patients, and other electrocardiographic changes could not be correlated with mortality. During the first three days after admission 29 patients had elevation of serum enzymes which may be derived from cardiac muscle, particularly CPK, which was increased 6-fold, compared to 2-fold increases in HBDH, GOT, and LDH. Only 5 of these patients had electrocardiographic evidence of recent myocardial infarction. Patients with elevated serum CPK had a 2-fold higher incidence of ST segment depression, T wave inversion, conduction defects and atrial fibrillation than those with normal CPK, and a mortality of 66%, compared to 30%. Of 41 patients who died, 49% had elevated serum CPK, compared to 15% of 59 patients who survived. These differences were significant (P less than 0.01). Serum CPK was more frequently helpful than the electrocardiogram in evaluating the extent of cardiac damage and in predicting mortality. Patients with acute cerebrovascular accident should have repeated evaluation of serum CPK and the ECG, and be monitored for arrhythmias.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association