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Old 10-25-2005, 08:07 AM   #1
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EKG Question - Abnormally high P wave

I went in for an EKG yesterday. My cardio was concerned about the abnormal results of a high (tall) P wave. Does anyone know what this is?
He said it could be a result of my weight or the fact I'm an ex smoker, however my cardio risk factors are high. My brother died suddenly at 52, strangely after several perfectly normal EKGs- He had these due to qualifying for testing for an unrelated disease. I have a calcium score set up and then and echo for next week.

I also have panic disorder, but I was very relaxed during the EKG (or so I thought)

Any insight as to what a high P wave indicates?

Many thanks... B

 
Old 10-25-2005, 08:10 AM   #2
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Re: EKG Question - Abnormally high P wave

PS - as far as weight he was suggesting I was underweight.

Again, thanks for any EKG savvy responses.

 
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Old 10-26-2005, 12:20 PM   #3
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Re: EKG Question - Abnormally high P wave

I can give you some perspective of the wave forms and it is not meant to provide information regarding your specific test as it is one step to a series of other tests for a heart dx.

I have my graphic output of the EKG, and I assume you have looked at your graph. The large spike is referred to as the QRS complex. Of interest is the duration (time from Q to S measured in milliseconds on the horizontal axis and gives some indication of contractions as it relates to heart's lower chamber size and any heart muscle damage or any other irregularities), then there is the amplitude (the height from Q to T measured in millivolts on the verticle axis and frequency measures heart rate).

The "P" wave precedes the QRS and very little amplitude...just a blip. Its designation represents the upper (atrial) chambers. The right atrial chamber houses the SA node that triggers electrical signals for the heart's timing and activity. An abnormal right atrium could be enlargement of the chamber and/or a source of irregular heart beats (WORSE CASE SCENARIO).

Then there is the "T" wave and that measures the distance and amplitude (negative or positive) from S to T. Of significance is whether it it is upsloping, downsloping, or flat line. And it deals with the heart's resting phase.

 
Old 10-26-2005, 03:12 PM   #4
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Re: EKG Question - Abnormally high P wave - KenKeith

Thank you for your comments, KenKeith. I've followed your posts with much interest since joining this board a few days ago. I did read up... a tall P wave could represent right atrial enlargement or of pulminary natrure such as long disease, pulmonary embolus or pulmonary hypertension as well as COPD.

This is the only information I have. My doctor has ordered an echocardiograph and a calcium test. Female 50, ex smoker, good lipid profile...brother died suddenly of massive heart attack age 52 a couple of months ago. I just wish I knew more. The shortness of breath is bugging me more than anything, and of course has become worse since reading too much. (Yikes) Again, thanks so much.

 
Old 10-27-2005, 08:16 AM   #5
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Re: EKG Question - Abnormally high P wave

Hi Brenlee,

My condolences for the unfortunate passing of your brother. I'm sure with treatment of the underlying lung problem the atrium will return to normal size. Take care.

 
Old 10-27-2005, 04:45 PM   #6
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Re: EKG Question - Abnormally high P wave

Thanks so much kenkeith. I appreciate your kind words. My cardio never mentioned it could be of pulmonary nature. In fact, he seemed rather cool about the whole matter of the tall P waves of the ECG. Through my own research (and I haven't obtained the ECG yet) it points to RAE, usually referring to an underlying lung problem. I am so scared at this point. I have an appointment schedule with my regular physician and this stress of not knowing is sheer torture during my grief.

Again, thanks for your condolences.

 
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