Current guidelines for interpretation of the ECGs of athletes recommend that isolated R and S wave amplitudes that exceed traditional criteria for left ventricular hypertrophy be accepted as a physiological response to exercise training. This is based on training and echocardiographic studies but not on long term follow up. Demonstration of the prognostic characteristics of the amplitude criteria in a non-athletic population could support the current guidelines.To evaluate the prognostic value of the R and S wave voltage criteria for electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy (ECG-LVH) in an ambulatory clinical population.The target population consisted of 20,903 ambulatory subjects who had ECGs recorded between 1987 and 1999 and were followed for cardiovascular death until 2013. During the mean follow up of 17years, there were 881 cardiovascular deaths.The mean age was 43±10, 91% were male and 16% were African American. Of the 2482 (12%) subjects who met the Sokolow-Lyon criteria, 241 (1.2%) subjects with left ventricular (LV) strain had an HR of 5.4 (95% CI 4.1-7.2, p<0.001), while 2241 (11%) subjects without strain had an HR of 1.4 (95% CI 1.2-1.8, p<0.001). Of the 4836 (23%) subjects who met the Framingham voltage criteria, 350 (2%) subjects with LV strain had an HR of 5.1 (95% CI 4.0-6.5, p<0.001), while 4486 (22%) subjects without strain had an HR of 1.1 (95% CI 0.9-1.3, p=0.26). The individual components of the Romhilt-Estes had HRs ranging from 1.4 to 3.6, with only the voltage component not being significant (HR 1.1, 95% CI 0.9-1.5, p=0.35).This study demonstrates that the R and S wave voltage criteria components of most of the original classification schema for electrocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy are not predictive of CV mortality. Our findings support the current guidelines for electrocardiographic screening of athletes.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2014.12.012
View details for PubMedID 25661864