It is quite difficult to judge whether various ECG abnormalities in asymptomatic alcoholics reflect latent stage of alcoholic cardiomyopathy, because several deterioration observed at alcoholic withdrawal stage modify ECG findings. To assess the ECG abnormalities during withdrawal stage, we studied the consecutive changes of ECG abnormalities after abstinence in 48 asymptomatic alcoholics admitted within 48 hours of last drink. The incidence of high QRS voltage (Sv1+Rv6>36 mm, Sv1+Rv5>40 mm, and Sv2+Rv5> 45mm) were 25%, 10%, and 13%, QTc prolongation (QTc>0.43 sec), 71%, 27%, and 15% on admission, 7th, and 30th hospital day, respectively. The consecutive changes of their correlations with drinking profile, electrolyte imbalance, blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac autonomic nerve dysfunction assessed by heart rate variability were studied by linear regression analyses. Heavy daily alcohol consumption, electrolyte imbalance, cardiac autonomic nerve dysfunction were related with ECG abnormalities at early withdrawal stage. With the improvement of ECG abnormalities after abstinence, these relationship became poorer. These results suggest ECG abnormalities in alcoholics are affected by several deterioration at early withdrawal stage.
- autonomic nervous disturbance
- withdrawal state
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