Article Text


U wave inversion during attacks of variant angina.
  1. K Miwa,
  2. T Murakami,
  3. H Kambara,
  4. C Kawai


    Sequential 12 lead electrocardiograms were recorded during angina pectoris induced by ergonovine maleate in 38 patients with variant angina. Transient U wave inversion was observed in 17 patients with ST segment elevation in anterior chest leads, but in only three of 21 patients with ST segment elevation in the inferior leads associated with right coronary artery spasm. In the 17, all of whom had spasm of the left anterior descending coronary artery, the sensitivity of ST segment elevation in V5 was only 41%, and that of U wave inversion 71%. U wave inversion without ST segment elevation occurred during attacks in 35% of patients. During the recovery phase, the sensitivity of U wave inversion was 82% in V4 and 65% in V5, though ST segment elevation was absent in both V4 and V5. Thus, inverted U waves without ST segment elevation often appear in marginal ischaemic zones or during the time of recovery from temporary ischaemia. Detection of inverted U waves should aid in the diagnosis of variant angina when only lead V5 is used as a monitor and when electrocardiograms are recorded only during the recovery phase.

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