Citation Information :
Kaliyaperumal D, Bhargavi K, Ramaraju K, Nair KS, Ramalingam S, Alagesan M. Electrocardiographic Changes in COVID-19 Patients: A Hospital-based Descriptive Study. Indian J Crit Care Med 2022; 26 (1):43-48.
Background: Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) infection is a multisystem disease not restricted to the lungs. It has a negative impact on the cardiovascular system by causing myocardial damage, vascular inflammation, plaque instability, and myocardial infarction. The presence of myocardial injury is a poor prognostic sign. Electrocardiogram (ECG), a simple bedside diagnostic test with high prognostic value, can be employed to assess early cardiovascular involvement in such patients. Various abnormalities in ECG like ST-T changes, arrhythmia, and conduction defects have been reported in COVID-19. We aimed to find out the ECG abnormalities of COVID-19 patients.
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional, hospital-based descriptive study among 315 COVID-19 in-patients who underwent ECG recording on admission. Patients’ clinical profiles were noted from their records, and the ECG abnormalities were studied.
Results: Among the abnormal ECGs 255 (81%), rhythm abnormalities were seen in 9 patients (2.9%), rate abnormalities in 115 patients (36.5%), and prolonged PR interval in 2.9%. Short QRS complex was seen in 8.3%. QT interval was prolonged in 8.3% of the patients. Significant changes in the ST and T segments (42.9%) were observed. In logistic regression analysis, ischemic changes in ECG were associated with systemic hypertension and respiratory failure.
Conclusion: In our study, COVID-19 patients had ischemic changes, rate, rhythm abnormalities, and conduction defects in their ECG. With this ongoing pandemic of COVID-19 and limited health resources, ECG—a simple bedside noninvasive tool is highly beneficial and helps in the early diagnosis and management of cardiac injury.
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