Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Abnormal EKG Can Predict Death In Stroke Patients

Date:
March 25, 2009
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
People who suffer an ischemic stroke and also have an abnormality in the heart's electrical cycle are at a higher risk of death within 90 days than people who do not have abnormal electrical activity at the time of emergency treatment, according to new research.

People who suffer an ischemic stroke and also have an abnormality in the heart's electrical cycle are at a higher risk of death within 90 days than people who do not have abnormal electrical activity at the time of emergency treatment, according to new research.

The study also provides a threshold at which the threat of death is highest: QTc intervals greater than 440 milliseconds in women and 438 milliseconds in men have the worst prognosis. The findings are published online March 20, 2009, in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases.

"From a clinical perspective, our study offers additional parameters to consider while treating stroke patients in the Emergency Department setting,' said corresponding author Latha G. Stead, M.D., professor and chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, who recently joined the URMC from the Mayo Clinic. "It appears that reviewing the medications a patient is taking and looking specifically for those that might prolong the QTc interval would be a useful practice."

The QTc interval is a measure of the electrical activity of the heart. An EKG records the waves of activity and its pattern, which is labeled with letters Q and T. Doctors look for the appropriate intervals between each letter, showing that the heart's electrical signals are steadily passing through the ventricles. A prolonged QTc interval means it takes too long for the electrical signal to pass.

Prolonged QTc intervals can be the result of a rare genetic disorder, medications, electrolyte imbalances, or congenital heart disease. Scientific data on the relationship between abnormal QTc intervals and death has been inconsistent, and few studies have looked at this relationship in the context of acute ischemic stroke, Stead said.

Researchers studied the medical records of 345 ischemic stroke patients at the Mayo Clinic, treated between 2001 and 2004, and followed for 90 days. Further analysis was done to see if the researchers could identify a QTc cutoff that would accurately predict death within 90 days.

About 35 percent of the patients had a prolonged QTc interval at the time of the emergency department visit. An estimated 81 percent of all patients were expected to survive the next three months. However, results showed that only 70.5 percent of the patients with a prolonged QTc interval survived compared with 87.1percent of the patients without a prolonged QTc interval.

In addition, researchers found that although the causes of death ranged from stroke to cardiac illnesses to cancer and respiratory failure, most patients died of stroke or cardiac causes. In those cases, about half of the patients had prolonged QTc intervals. Among the stroke survivors, patients with prolonged QT intervals had poorer functional outcomes.

About 795,000 Americans each year suffer a new or recurrent stroke. That means, on average, a stroke occurs every 40 seconds, according to the American Stroke Association. Ischemic strokes, obstructions of the blood vessels supplying blood to the brain, account for the majority of cases.

Stead is supported by the Mayo Foundation Emergency Medicine Career Research Career Development Award.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Abnormal EKG Can Predict Death In Stroke Patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090320092104.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2009, March 25). Abnormal EKG Can Predict Death In Stroke Patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090320092104.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Abnormal EKG Can Predict Death In Stroke Patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090320092104.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins