Study of Electrocardiographic Findings in Severe Anaemia

Author(s): Appu Patil1 , Veena P. Munavalli2 , Krutika Morappanavar3

BACKGROUND Anaemia is a worldwide problem which has major consequences on human health. It also poses a huge social and economic burden. World Health Organisation defines a haemoglobin level of less than 8 gm / dL as severe anaemia. It affects multiple organs, cardiovascular system being one of them. The clinical features of anaemia are a result of diminished oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. The clinical presentations vary depending on the age of the patient, rapidity of onset of anaemia and its severity. The cardiac changes are reflected as electrocardiographic abnormalities. In clinical practice such electrocardiographic findings simulate those of ischemic heart disease leading to a battery of investigations. METHODS This was a retrospective study. Forty five anaemia patients admitted in medicine wards of S. Nijalingappa Medical College and HSK hospital over a period of 6 months from 1st July 2019 to 31st Dec 2019 were studied. Complete hemogram and electrocardiography were obtained and analysed. RESULTS Anaemia was more common among females who constituted 30 (66.66 %) patients as compared to males constituting 15 (33.33 %) patients. 31 patients (68.88 %) with severe anaemia showed ECG changes. Most common finding was sinus tachycardia seen in 17 (37.77 %) of patients followed by T inversions 11 (24.44 %) and ST depressions 4 (8.88 %). Anaemia was most commonly seen in the age group of 15 - 30 years constituting 23 (51.11 %) patients. ECG findings were more common in females as compared to males. 22 (73.33 %) of female patients had ECG changes as compared to 9 (60 %) in males. CONCLUSIONS ECG abnormalities are common in patients with severe anaemia more so in females. These mimic changes seen in patients with ischemic heart disease.