Frequency and significance of late evolution of Q waves in patients with initial non-Q-wave acute myocardial infarction

Robert E. Kleiger, William E. Boden, Kenneth B. Schechtman, Robert S. Gibson, David J. Schwartz, Barbara J. Geiger, Robert J. Capone, Robert Roberts

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Serial 12-lead electrocardiogram and plasma creatine kinase (CK)-MB values from 544 patients with confirmed non-Q-wave acute myocardial infarction (AMI) were analyzed to define the rate of progression of non-Q-wave AMI to Q-wave AMI and to examine its relation to CK-MB evidence of extension. The baseline electrocardiogram was obtained 50 ± 10 hours after AMI and compared with subsequent electrocardiograms at 48 and 72 hours after baseline record and at discharge. Plasma CK-MB was assayed every 12 hours after baseline. A total of 76 patients (14%) progressed to Q-wave AMI. Compared to the 468 patients who retained non-Q-wave AMI, those patients who evolved Q-wave AMI were more likely to exhibit ST elevation ≥1.0 mm in ≥2 infarct-related leads (49 vs 32%, p < 0.005), higher peak CK values with the index AMI (754 ± 625 vs 611 ± 604 IU; p = 0.0018) and a greater incidence of CK-MB-confirmed extensions (18.5 vs 5.5%, p < 0.0001). For those patients progressing to Q-wave AMI within 48 hours of baseline electrocardiogram, CK-MB extension occurred in 9.5% (4 of 42) versus 29.4% (10 of 34) of those who progressed after 48 hours (p = 0.0262). A distinct minority (14%) of patients with non-Q-wave AMI will develop Q waves before discharge. The progression to Q-wave AMI after initial non-Q-wave AMI appears to involve 2 different mechanisms: temporal lag in the electrocardiogram, and actual extension by quantitative CK-MB criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-27
Number of pages5
JournalThe American journal of cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


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