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T wave: Wikis

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Schematic representation of normal ECG

The T wave represents the repolarization (or recovery) of the ventricles. The interval from the beginning of the QRS complex to the apex of the T wave is referred to as the absolute refractory period. The last half of the T wave is referred to as the relative refractory period (or vulnerable period).

In most leads, the T wave is positive. However, a negative T wave is normal in lead aVR. Lead V1 may have a positive, negative, or biphasic T wave. In addition, it is not uncommon to have an isolated negative T wave in lead III, aVL, or aVF.

Clinical significance

  • Inverted (or negative) T waves can be a sign of coronary ischemia, Wellens' syndrome, left ventricular hypertrophy, or CNS disorder.
  • Tall or "tented" T waves may indicate hyperkalemia.[1] Flat T waves may indicate coronary ischemia or hypokalemia.
  • The earliest electrocardiographic finding of acute myocardial infarction is sometimes the hyperacute T wave, which can be distinguished from hyperkalemia by the broad base and slight asymmetry.
  • When a conduction abnormality (e.g., left bundle branch block, paced rhythm) is present, the T wave should be deflected opposite the terminal deflection of the QRS complex. This is known as appropriate T wave discordance.

References

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