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Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2013 Aug;6(4):690-6. doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.113.000356. Epub 2013 Jul 23.

Predictive value of electrocardiographic T-wave morphology parameters and T-wave peak to T-wave end interval for sudden cardiac death in the general population.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.



Previous population studies have found an association between electrocardiographic T-wave morphology parameters and cardiovascular mortality, but their relationship to sudden cardiac death (SCD) is not clear. To our knowledge, there are no follow-up studies assessing the association between electrocardiographic T-wave peak to T-wave end interval (TPE) and SCD. We assessed the predictive value of electrocardiographic T-wave morphology parameters and TPE for SCD in an adult general population sample.


A total of 4 T-wave morphology parameters (principal component analysis ratio, T-wave morphology dispersion, total cosine R-to-T, T-wave residuum) as well as TPE were measured from digital standard 12-lead ECGs in 5618 adults (46% men; mean age 50.9±12.5 years) participating in the Finnish population-based Health 2000 Study. After a mean follow-up time of 7.7±1.4 years, 72 SCDs had occurred. In univariable analyses, all T-wave morphology parameters were associated with an increased SCD risk. In multivariable Cox models, T-wave morphology dispersion and total cosine R-to-T remained as predictors of SCD, with T-wave morphology dispersion showing the highest SCD risk (hazard ratio of 1.4 [95% confidence interval 1.1-1.7, P=0.001] per 1 SD increase in the loge T-wave morphology dispersion). In contrast, TPE was not associated with SCD in univariable or multivariable analyses.


Electrocardiographic T-wave morphology parameters describing the 3-dimensional shape of the T-wave stratify SCD risk in the general population, but we did not find an association between TPE and SCD.


electrocardiography; epidemiology; prognosis; repolarization; sudden death

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