Indexed on: 29 Apr '09Published on: 29 Apr '09Published in: Journal of Electrocardiology
Electrocardiographic signs of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) are on one hand accepted as independent cardiovascular risk factors and indicators of target organ damage in hypertensive patients, but, on the other hand they are strongly criticized for their low sensitivity. In this paper, a historic perspective on the ECG diagnosis of LVH is presented, showing the development of current views on the role of ECG in LVH detection. Based on the fact that ECG provides information on the electrical properties of myocardium and on new knowledge about electrical remodeling in LVH, a shift of paradigm in our consideration of the diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy is proposed, based on changes in the electrical properties of hypertrophied myocardium. This new paradigm could explain the broad spectrum of QRS patterns seen in LVH, including increased QRS voltage, prolonged duration of QRS complex, left axis deviation, prolonged intrinsicoid deflection, LBBB and LAFB patterns, as well as pseudo-normal ECG findings.