Frontal QRS-T angle and ventricular mechanics in congenital heart disease

Lau LY, So EK, Chow PC, Cheung YF.
Heart Vessels. 2020 Apr 3. doi: 10.1007/s00380-020-01601-4. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 32246195
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Background: The QRS-T angle has been associated with adverse cardiovascular events and sudden cardiac deaths. We determined frontal QRS-T angle in patients with complete transposition of the great arteries (TGA) after atrial switch operation and repaired tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) and explored its relationships with ventricular mechanics.

Methods: Thirty TGA patients aged 32.3 ± 4.4 years after atrial switch operation and 47 repaired TOF patients aged 28.7 ± 6.0 years were studied. The frontal planar QRS-T angle and QRS duration were measured from 12-lead electrocardiograms. Right (RV) and left ventricular (LV) strain parameters were determined using speckle tracking echocardiography.

Results: Compared with TOF patients, TGA patients after atrial switch operation had significantly greater frontal QRS-T angle (136.3° ± 43.5° vs 74.5° ± 59.6°, p < 0.001), greater prevalence of QRS-T angle ≥ 100° (83.3% vs 29.8%, p < 0.001), and showed progressive increase in QRS-T angle over a duration of 3.3 ± 1.0 years (p = 0.035). The QRS-T angle correlated positively with QRS duration in both the TGA (r = 0.61, p < 0.001) and TOF (r = 0.30, p < 0.043) groups. Among TGA patients, QRS-T angle was found to correlate negatively with systemic RV global longitudinal strain (r = – 0.49, p = 0.007), early diastolic strain rate (r = – 0.41, p = 0.026), and fractional area change (r = – 0.38, p = 0.045), but not subpulmonary LV strain indices. By contrast, among repaired TOF patients, there were no significant correlations between QRS-T angle and systemic and subpulmonary ventricular strain indices (all p > 0.05).

Conclusion: Increased frontal QRS-T angle is prevalent in TGA patients after atrial switch operation and is related to worse systemic RV mechanics.