NYMC Faculty Publications

Electrocardiographic Changes in Emphysema

Author Type(s)


Journal Title

World Journal of Cardiology

First Page


Last Page


Document Type

Review Article

Publication Date





Chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), predominantly emphysema, causes several thoracic anatomical and hemodynamic changes which may cause changes in various electrocardiographic parameters. A 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG), which is often a part of routine evaluation in most clinical settings, may serve as a useful screening modality for diagnosis of COPD or emphysema. Our current article aims to provide a comprehensive review of the electrocardiographic changes encountered in COPD/emphysema utilizing published PubMed and Medline literature database. Several important ECG changes are present in COPD/emphysema and may serve as a good diagnostic tool. Verticalization of P-vector, changes in QRS duration, pattern recognition of precordial R-wave progression and axial shifts can be considered some of the most valuable markers among other changes. In conclusion, 12-lead surface electrocardiogram can serve as a valuable tool for the diagnosis of COPD and/or emphysema. An appropriate knowledge of these ECG changes can not only help in the diagnosis but can also immensely help in an appropriate clinical management of these patients.