Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A master teacher discusses the importance of the electrocardiographic P wave

David Spodick, M.D., professor of Medicine and Cardiology at the University of Massachusetts, comments on under appreciation of the electrocardiographic P wave in Internal Medicine World Report, making the following points:

  • Analysis of the P wave is often neglected in discussions on electrocardiography.
  • Most P wave abnormalities are defined by P wave duration, the upper limit of which is 100ms.
  • P wave duration in excess of 100ms constitutes atrial conduction block, specifically intra-atrial or, more likely, inter-atrial block.
  • Atrial conduction blocks indicate increased risk of atrial fibrillation and stroke, and may reflect left ventricular dysfunction.


Review by Spodick in Mayo Clinic Proceedings on this subject.

Previous notes from Dr. RW on this subject.

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