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Lung India Official publication of Indian Chest Society  
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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-81

Diagnostic values of electrocardiogram in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

Department of Tuberculosis & Chest Diseases, Motilal Nehru Medical College, Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh., India

Correspondence Address:
Dinesh Kumar
Department of Community Medicine, Govt. Medical College, Chandigarh.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-2113.44125

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Background : Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD), a broad spectrum of respiratory diseases represents a worldwide problem. Electrocardiographic (ECG) findings may help in clinical decision making regarding this disease entity. Aims: To evaluate the extent and diagnostic values of ECG changes among COPD patients suffering from broad spectrum of respiratory diseases. Material & Methods : A hos­pital based cross-sectional study was conducted in Sworoop Rani Nehru Hospital, Allahabad in Eastern Uttar Pradesh (UP), India. A sample of 60 patients attending respiratory diseases OPD for treatment of various respiratory problems including 14 COPD patients was selected randomly during 2000-2001. Patients of respiratory diseases were also evaluated electrocardiographically along with other investiga­tions. Results : Respiratory problems were more common among rural males of low socio-economic group. COPD particularly chronic bronchitis was the commonest respiratory problem next to pulmonary tuberculosis. Inspite of normal heart rate observed in 71.4% COPD patients, ECG changes were present in 35.7% COPD patients. Peaked P-wave was observed in 35.7% COPD patients, whereas duration of QRS complex was abnormal in only 8.1% of the patients. None of the COPD patients showed abnormal P-wave duration. ECG changes were found less sensitive (35.7%) but highly specific (95.6%). Conclusion : Diagnostic values of ECG among patients with respiratory problems suggest that COPD patients should be screened electrocardiographically in addition to other clinical investigations.

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