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Biomed Res Int. 2018 Dec 18;2018:3054316. doi: 10.1155/2018/3054316. eCollection 2018.

Quantitative Evaluation of the Relationship between T-Wave-Based Features and Serum Potassium Level in Real-World Clinical Practice.

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Department of Biomedical Informatics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Ajou University Graduate School of Medicine, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea.
Department of Cardiology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea.
Department of Nephrology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea.



Proper management of hyperkalemia that leads to fatal cardiac arrhythmia has become more important because of the increased prevalence of hyperkalemia-prone diseases. Although T-wave changes in hyperkalemia are well known, their usefulness is debatable. We evaluated how well T-wave-based features of electrocardiograms (ECGs) are correlated with estimated serum potassium levels using ECG data from real-world clinical practice.


We collected ECGs from a local ECG repository (MUSE™) from 1994 to 2017 and extracted the ECG waveforms. Of about 1 million reports, 124,238 were conducted within 5 minutes before or after blood collection for serum potassium estimation. We randomly selected 500 ECGs and two evaluators measured the amplitude (T-amp) and right slope of the T-wave (T-right slope) on five lead waveforms (V3, V4, V5, V6, and II). Linear correlations of T-amp, T-right slope, and their normalized feature (T-norm) with serum potassium levels were evaluated using Pearson correlation coefficient analysis.


Pearson correlation coefficients for T-wave-based features with serum potassium between the two evaluators were 0.99 for T-amp and 0.97 for T-right slope. The coefficient for the association between T-amp, T-right slope, and T-norm, and serum potassium ranged from -0.22 to 0.02. In the normal ECG subgroup (normal ECG or otherwise normal ECG), there was no correlation between T-wave-based features and serum potassium level.


T-wave-based features were not correlated with serum potassium level, and their use in real clinical practice is currently limited.

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