Background: A characteristic electrocardiogram (ECG) pattern called crochetage has been described in patients with atrial septal defects. Nevertheless, there are discrepancies regarding its frequency in patients with patent foramen ovale (PFO). Objective: We analyzed the ECGs of patients who had cryptogenic stroke to study crochetage and other possible patterns in relation to PFO. Methods: We prospectively included consecutive patients who have had a cryptogenic stroke and are undergoing a right-to-left shunt (RLS) study with transesophageal echocardiography and simultaneous transcranial Doppler. Two blinded and independent cardiologists analyzed the ECGs for crochetage, defined as a notch near the apex of the R wave in inferior limb leads, P wave abnormalities, and right bundle branch block (RBBB). Results: We studied 104 patients whose mean age was 55.1 ± 12.7 years; 60.6% were men. PFO was detected in 40.4% of patients. Cardiologists recorded crochetage in 26.2% of patients with PFO and 14.5% of patients without PFO (P = .204) and RBBB in 19% and 8% of patients, respectively (P = .132). P wave abnormalities were also detected in 54.8% of patients with PFO and 35.5% of patients without PFO (P = .070). In patients with PFO, biphasic P waves were more frequent in small RLS (P = .006). Although higher frequencies of crochetage in small RLS and RBBB in moderate RLS were detected, these differences did not reach statistical significance (P = .067 and P = .05, respectively). Conclusion: There is no characteristic ECG pattern to identify the patients with cryptogenic stroke. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Patent foramen ovale
- Right-to-left shunt