A specific cardiological syndrome, found not only in patients with cardiac impairment, but also in healthy people, is called premature or early repolarization syndrome. For a long time, the pathology was regarded by doctors as a norm variant, until its clear connection with impaired sinus heart rhythm was revealed. Detection of the disease is difficult due to its asymptomatic course.
What is ventricular early repolarization syndrome
Changes on the ECG (electrocardiogram) that do not have obvious causes are called the syndrome of early (or accelerated, premature) repolarization of the cardiac ventricles (ATS). Pathology has no specific clinical signs; it is detected after being examined on an electrocardiograph both in patients with diseases of the cardiovascular system and in healthy people. The ICD-10 disease code (international classification of diseases) is I 45.6. Circulatory system diseases. Syndrome of premature arousal.
Heart contractions occur as a result of changes in the electric charge in cardiomyocytes, during which potassium, calcium and sodium ions pass into the intercellular space and vice versa. The process goes through two main phases, which alternate one after another: depolarization - contraction, and repolarization - relaxation before the next contraction.
Early repolarization of the ventricles of the heart occurs due to impaired conduction of the impulse along the pathways from the atria to the ventricles, activation of abnormal transmission paths of the electric pulse. The phenomenon develops due to the imbalance between repolarization and depolarization in the structures of the apex of the heart and the basal parts, when the period of myocardial relaxation is significantly reduced.
The reasons for the development of pathology have not been fully studied by scientists. The main hypotheses for the occurrence of early repolarization are the following assumptions:
- Changes in the action potential of cardiomyocytes associated with the mechanism of potassium exit from cells, or increased susceptibility to heart attack during ischemia.
- Violations of the processes of relaxation and contraction in certain areas of the myocardium, for example, with Brugada syndrome of the first type.
- Genetic pathologies - mutations of genes that are responsible for balancing the processes of ion intake into cells and their exit to the outside.
According to statistics, from 3 to 10% of healthy people of different ages are subject to accelerated repolarization syndrome. This pathology is more often found in young men aged about 30 years, athletes or leading an active lifestyle. Among non-specific risk factors, doctors note the following phenomena:
- Long-term use or overdose of certain drugs (e.g., adrenergic agonists).
- Congenital hyperlipidemia (high blood fat), provoking the development of atherosclerosis of the heart.
- Changes in the connective tissue of the heart ventricles, in which additional chords are formed in them.
- Acquired or congenital heart defects.
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
- Failures in the autonomic nervous system.
- Neuroendocrine problems.
- Violations of the electrolyte balance in the body.
- High blood cholesterol.
- Excessive exercise.
- Hypothermia of the body.
Syndrome of early repolarization of the ventricles in children and adults can have two developmental options regarding the work of the heart, blood vessels, and other organs involved in the functioning of the system - with and without damage to the cardiovascular system. By the nature of the course of the pathology, a transient (periodic) and permanent SRGR are distinguished. There is a classification according to 3 types depending on the localization of ECG signs.
Signs of ventricular early repolarization syndrome
The syndrome of premature ventricular repolarization is characterized mainly by changes in the electrocardiogram (ECG). In some patients, various symptoms of cardiovascular disorders are observed, in the other, the clinical signs of the disease are completely absent, the person is and feels absolutely healthy (about 8-10% of all cases). Violation of the process of repolarization on the ECG in a child or adult is reflected in the following major changes:
- The ST segment rises above the contour.
- On the ST segment, a downward convexity is observed.
- An increased amplitude of the R wave is observed, in parallel with a decrease in the S wave or its disappearance.
- The J point (the point at the transition of the S segment to the QRS complex) is located above the contour, in the interval of the descending knee of the R wave.
- The QRS complex has been expanded.
- On the gap of the descending knee of the R wave is located the wave J, visually resembling a notch.
Types of ECG Changes
According to the changes detected on the electrocardiogram, the syndrome is divided into three types, each of which is characterized by its own risk of developing complications. The classification is as follows:
- The first type: the signs of the disease are observed in a healthy person, in the chest leads studied in the lateral plane with an ECG (the likelihood of developing a complication is low).
- The second type: localization of the symptoms of the syndrome - lower lateral and lower ECG leads (the likelihood of complications is increased).
- The third type: signs are recorded in all ECG leads, the risk of complications is the highest.
When playing sports lasting from 4 hours a week on the ECG, signs of an increase in the volume of the heart chambers, an increase in the tonus of the vagus nerve are recorded. Such changes are not symptoms of pathology and do not require additional examinations. During pregnancy, an isolated form of the disease (without affecting the cardiac activity of the mother) does not affect the development of the fetus and the process of bearing it.
Manifestations of pathology
Clinical signs of early ventricular repolarization are found only in the form of a disease with impaired cardiovascular system. The syndrome is accompanied by:
- A variety of types of arrhythmias (ventricular extrasystole, tachyarrhythmia - supraventricular and other forms, ventricular fibrillation, accompanied by loss of consciousness, pulse and respiratory arrest, etc.).
- Fainting conditions (loss of consciousness).
- Diastolic or systolic dysfunction of the heart, hemodynamic disturbances caused by it - hypertensive crisis, pulmonary edema, cardiogenic shock, shortness of breath.
- Tachycardial, hyperamphotonic, vagotonic, dystrophic syndromes (especially in childhood or adolescence), caused by the influence of humoral factors on the hypothalamic-pituitary system.
What is the danger of ventricular repolarization syndrome
The phenomenon of early ventricular repolarization has long been considered one of the normal options. Over time, it turned out that a constant form of this pathology can provoke the development of arrhythmia, myocardial hypertrophy, and other complications, and cause sudden coronary death. Therefore, if characteristic changes are detected on the ECG, an examination is required to detect or rule out more serious diseases of the cardiovascular system.
Syndrome of early myocardial repolarization can provoke severe complications that are dangerous to the health and life of the patient. The following serious consequences of the development of pathology are common:
- coronary heart disease;
- atrial fibrillation;
- paroxysmal tachycardia;
- heart block
- sinus bradycardia and tachycardia;
Due to the asymptomatic development of the premature repolarization syndrome, it is detected by chance, as a result of being examined on an electrocardiograph. If characteristic changes in the readings are detected, tests such as:
- Registration of an ECG under additional physical activity.
- For the expressiveness of the manifestation of signs, a test using potassium or procainamide.
- Daily ECG monitoring.
- Blood chemistry.
In the process of diagnosis, the disease must be differentiated with pericarditis, hyperkalemia, Brugada syndrome, electrolyte imbalance, arrhythmogenic dysplasia in the right ventricle. After the consultation, the cardiologist prescribes a comprehensive examination, which necessarily includes echocardiography (ultrasound of the heart) and cardioangiography.
Therapy of the disease is aimed at preventing the development of serious complications from cardiac activity. If life-threatening arrhythmias or other pathologies are identified, the patient is shown medication, and in some cases, surgery. An invasive method of treatment by radiofrequency ablation of an additional beam is used.
The correction of the patient's lifestyle recommended by the attending physician is important. A patient with early repolarization is shown to limit physical activity and psycho-emotional stress. It is necessary to abandon bad habits (smoking, drinking alcohol) and patient compliance with a special diet, regular monitoring by a cardiologist.
Correction of the patient’s nutritional behavior is carried out in order to balance his daily diet and enrich him with B vitamins and microelements such as magnesium and potassium. You need to eat more raw vegetables and fruits, be sure to enter the menu of sea fish and seafood, liver, legumes and cereals, different types of nuts, fresh herbs, soy products.
Treatment with the use of medications is indicated only in the presence of concomitant pathologies of cardiac activity (arrhythmia, coronary syndrome, etc.). Drug therapy is necessary to prevent complications and the onset of acute critical conditions. Medications of the following pharmacological groups can be prescribed:
- Energotropic drugs. Stop signs of the syndrome, improve the activity of the heart muscle. Possible appointments: Neurovitan (1 tablet per day), Kudesan (adult dosage - 2 mg per kilogram of weight), Carnitine (500 mg twice a day).
- Antiarrhythmic drugs. Etmosine (100 mg 3 times a day), quinidine sulfate (200 mg three times a day), Novocainamide (0.25 mg once every 6 hours).
When aggravating the patient’s condition, severe clinical symptoms of medium and high intensity (fainting, serious heart rhythm disturbances) that are not amenable to conservative treatment, doctors may recommend the necessary surgical intervention, including using minimally invasive methods. According to indications, the following operations are assigned:
- Radiofrequency ablation (if additional pathways or severe arrhythmias are detected). Eliminating the extra beam helps eliminate arrhythmic disorders.
- Implantation of a pacemaker (in the presence of life-threatening heart rhythm disturbances).
- Implantation of a defibrillator-cardioverter (with ventricular fibrillation). A small device is placed under the skin on the chest, from which electrodes are introduced into the heart cavity. According to them, at the time of arrhythmia, the device transmits an accelerated electrical pulse, due to which normalization of the heart and restoration of the heart rhythm occur.
Prevention and prognosis
The prognosis for most patients with a diagnosed syndrome of premature cardiac ventricular repolarization is favorable. In some cases, the disease can threaten a critical situation for the patient’s life. The task of a cardiologist is the timely identification of such a probability and minimization of the dangerous consequences of heart rhythm disturbances.Attention! The information presented in the article is for guidance only. Materials of the article do not call for independent treatment. Only a qualified doctor can make a diagnosis and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.