ECG Changes and Voltage Attenuation in Congestive Heart Failure


  • John E. Madias



ECG, congestive heart failure, peripheral edema, body volume conductor, electrical impedance, diuresis, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, cardiac resynchronization therapy, QT intervals


The electrocardiogram (ECG) is invaluable in providing diagnosis, prognosis, and information for decision making in the management of patients with congestive heart failure (CHF). In addition to the traditional applications of the ECG, which are of importance in the management of patients with CHF, and include indeed the bulk of ECG derived information, a recently described association of peripheral edema with attenuated ECG voltage, provides an expanded dimension in diagnostics. These attenuations result in decreased amplitude of QRS complexes, P-waves, and shortened duration of QRS complexes and QT intervals, with significant diagnostic implications.Alleviation of peripheral edema in response to diuresis in patients with CHF reverses all above alterations.




Cardiology Update 2006