Electrocardiographic Changes in Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

2006-2007, Institute for Algorithmic Medicine, Houston, TX, USA.

A number of changes in electrocardiogram may develop in a patient with acute subarachnoid hemorrhage.


ECG Feature


ST wave

depression or elevation

T wave

wide, prominent, inverted

QTc interval


heart rate

sinus bradycardia


Risk factors for severe prolongation of the QTc interval (Fukui et al):

  • female gender
  • hypokalemia < 3.5 mmol/L


Fukui S, Katoh H, et al. Multivariate analysis of risk factors for QT prolongation following subarachnoid hemorrhage. Critical Care. 2003; 7(3): R7-R12.

Slovis C, Jenkins R. ABC of clinical electrocardiography. Conditions not primarily affecting the heart. BMJ. 2002; 324: 1320-1323.

Wagner GS. Marriott's Practical Electrocardiography, Ninth Edition. Williams & Wilkins. 1994. page 186