The purpose of this study was to determine whether a relation exists between electrocardiographic
(ECG) abnormalities and left ventricular wall motion in patients with subarachnoid
Although ECG changes simulating acute myocardial infarction are frequently seen in
patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage, their relation to left ventricular wall motion
has not been established.
Twelve patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage were classified according to the presence
of ST segment elevation in at least two consecutive leads on admission: seven patients
with ST segment elevation (group I) and five patients without ST segment elevation
(group II). No patients had a previous history of heart disease. Left ventricular
regional wall motion was evaluated by the centerline method. The mean (+/- SEM) duration
from onset of subarachnoid hemorrhage to left ventriculography was 9 +/- 3 h in group
I and 10 +/- 1 h in group II. Coronary angiography was performed to rule out wall
motion abnormalities due to coronary artery disease while the ST segment was still
elevated. Two-dimensional echocardiography was used to evaluate wall motion thereafter.
All patients in group I showed ST segment elevation in ECG leads V4 to V6. Wall motion
of the left ventricular apex was significantly reduced in group I compared with group
II (-2.48 +/- 0.41 vs. -0.45 +/- 0.72, p < 0.02). No patients showed organic stenosis
or vasospasm, or both, of epicardial coronary arteries. Wall motion abnormalities
decreased echocardiographically in all patients, but one patient in group I died in
hospital at 2 or 3 weeks after the onset of subarachnoid hemorrhage, when the T wave
was inverted in leads V4 to V6.
These findings suggest that patients with subarachnoid hemorrhage and ST segment elevation
may demonstrate transient corresponding regional wall motion abnormalities. The mechanism
of neurogenic stunned myocardium was not clearly elucidated in the present study.