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Functional changes of the myocardium in survivors of high-voltage electrical injury

Kyoung-Ha Park1, Sang Jin Han1, Hyun-Sook Kim1, Sang Ho Jo1, Sung-Ai Kim1, Suk-Won Choi1, Seong Hwan Kim2 and Woo Jung Park1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Cardiology, Hallym University Sacred Heart hospital, 896, Pyeongchon-dong, Dongan-gu, Anyang-si, Gyeonggi-do, 431-070, Korea

2 Department of Cardiology, Korea University Ansan Hospital, 123, Jeokgeum-ro, Ansan-si, Gyeonggi-do, 425-707, Korea

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Critical Care 2013, 17:R26  doi:10.1186/cc12506

Published: 7 February 2013



There are limited long-term follow-up data on functional changes in the myocardium after high-voltage electrical injury (HVEI).


Twenty-three patients who had been exposed to HVEI (>20,000 volts) and preserved left ventricular ejection fraction (≥55%) were enrolled in the study. Echocardiographic parameters, including peak systolic strain (S) and strain rate (SR), were evaluated at baseline, six weeks and six months later. These data were compared with a healthy control group who were matched in terms of age, sex and body mass index.


The systolic and diastolic blood pressure and the heart rate were significantly higher in the HVEI group compared with the control group at baseline and at six weeks, but not at the six-month follow-up. Conventional echocardiographic data showed no differences between the groups during the study period. In contrast to the S, the baseline and six weeks, SR was significantly increased in the HVEI group compared with the control group. However, at the six-month follow-up, there was no difference in the SR between the groups. Among the 23 patients with HVEI, 17 of the patients had vertical current injury, and 6 patients had horizontal current injury. There was no difference in terms of the conventional echocardiography, S and SR between the patients with vertical injury and those with horizontal injury at baseline and at the six-month follow-up.


The long-term contractile performance of the myocardium is preserved when patient do not experience left ventricular dysfunction in the early stages after HVEI.