Electrocardiograph abnormalities in patients with active inflammatory bowel disease
AIM OF STUDY: To investigate the prevalence of electrocardiograph (ECG) abnormalities in a cohort of patients with active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) followed up in a referral center and to compare them with ECG abnormalities in controls. PATIENTS-METHODS: We retrospectively
studied surface ECGs from a random selected cohort of IBD patients with active disease and we compared them with ECGs from age and sex matched control individuals. The IBD cohort consisted in total of 34 patients, 22 males (aged 42.3±11.6 years) and 12 females (aged 48.1±13.4 years). Twenty-seven patients were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 7 with Crohn’s disease (CD). Disease duration was 10.4±6.2 and 7.8± 4.9 years respectively. Control population consisted of 35 age and sex matched individuals (22 healthy and 13 with viral gastroenteritis). Two cardiologists analyzed ECGs throughout a standard protocol. Differential diagnosis of all abnormal ECGs was based on medical history, concomitant medication and co-morbidity. RESULTS: Twelve out of this 34-IBD patient cohort (35.2%) and 13/35 (37.1%) of control cohort were diagnosed with abnormal ECG’s (p=NS). In total 10 UC patients out of 27 (37%) and 2 out of 7 (28.6%) CD patients had evidence of some kind of ECG abnormality. Additionally, seven IBD patients had PR or QRS or QT interval at the upper normal limit. There was no significant difference in the number of ECG abnormalities between patients and controls but we recorded some qualitative differences between them regarding the type of
abnormalities. DISCUSSION: In a cohort of IBD patients with active disease we recorded ECG abnormalities commonly found in healthy individuals and in individuals with viral gastroenteritis. Although we were not able to demonstrate significant differences in overall numbers, we showed qualitative differences regarding types of ECG abnormalities between patients and controls.