Background and Purpose-Electrocardiographic abnormalities are common after subarachnoid hemorrhage, but their significance remains uncertain. The aim of this study was to determine whether any specific electrocardiographic abnormalities are independently associated with adverse neurological outcomes. Methods-This was a substudy of the Intraoperative Hypothermia Aneurysm Surgery Trial, which was designed to determine whether intraoperative hypothermia would improve neurological outcome in patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage undergoing aneurysm surgery. The outcome was the 3-month Glasgow Outcome Score treated as both a categorical measure (Glasgow Outcome Score 1 [good outcome] to 5 [death]) and dichotomously (mortality/Glasgow Outcome Score 5 versus Glasgow Outcome Score 1 to 4). The predictor variables were preoperative electrocardiographic characteristics, including heart rate, corrected QT interval, and ST-and T-wave abnormalities. Univariate logistic regression was performed to screen for significant electrocardiographic variables, which were then tested for associations with the outcome by multivariate logistic regression adjusting for clinical covariates. Results-The study included 588 patients, of whom 31 (5%) died. There was a significant, nonlinear association between heart rate and mortality such that lowest quartile (≤60 beats/min;OR, 6.5;P=0.027) and highest quartile (>80 beats/min;OR, 8.8;P=0.006) were associated with higher risk. There was also a significant association between nonspecific ST-and T-wave abnormalities and mortality (OR, 3.1;P=0.031). Conclusions-Bradycardia, relative tachycardia, and nonspecific ST-and T-wave abnormalities are strongly and independently associated with 3-month mortality after subarachnoid hemorrhage. Further research should be performed to determine whether there is a causal relationship between cardiac dysfunction and neurological outcome after subarachnoid hemorrhage.
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage