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Gustav Smith

Associate professor

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Orthogonal P-wave morphology is affected by intra-atrial pressures


  • Richard Petersson
  • J. Gustav Smith
  • David A. Larsson
  • Öyvind Reitan
  • Jonas Carlson
  • Pyotr Platonov
  • Fredrik Holmqvist

Summary, in English

BACKGROUND: It has previously been shown that the morphology of the P-wave neither depends on atrial size in healthy subjects with physiologically enlarged atria nor on the physiological anatomical variation in transverse orientation of the left atrium. The present study aimed to investigate if different pressures in the left and right atrium are associated with different P-wave morphologies.

METHODS: 38 patients with isolated, increased left atrial pressure, 51 patients with isolated, increased right atrial pressure and 76 patients with biatrially increased pressure were studied. All had undergone right heart catheterization and had 12-lead electrocardiographic recordings, which were transformed into vectorcardiograms for detailed P-wave morphology analysis.

RESULTS: Normal P-wave morphology (type 1) was more common in patients with isolated increased pressure in the right atrium while abnormal P-wave morphology (type 2) was more common in the groups with increased left atrial pressure (P = 0.032). Moreover, patients with increased left atrial pressure, either isolated or in conjunction with increased right atrial pressure, had significantly more often a P-wave morphology with a positive deflection in the sagittal plane (P = 0.004).

CONCLUSION: Isolated elevated right atrial pressure was associated with normal P-wave morphology while left-sided atrial pressure elevation, either isolated or in combination with right atrial pressure elevation, was associated with abnormal P-wave morphology.


  • Cardiology
  • Electrocardiology Research Group - CIEL
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • EpiHealth: Epidemiology for Health

Publishing year





BMC Cardiovascular Disorders





Document type

Journal article


BioMed Central (BMC)


  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems


  • Atrial electrophysiology
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • P-wave morphology
  • Pressure
  • Right heart catheterization



Research group

  • Electrocardiology Research Group - CIEL


  • ISSN: 1471-2261