Changes in ECG among patients with drug induced poisoning in a tertiary care hospital


  • Ashraf Ur Rahman Department of Cardiology, National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • AW Chowdhury Department of Cardiology, Dhaka Medical College, Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • S Jabeen International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh



ECG changes, drug induced poisoning, Tertiary care hospital


Background: A wide variety of ECG changes can be seen with cardiac and noncardiac agents and may occur at therapeutic or toxic levels. Wide QRS and QT prolongation may be seen in poisoning cases; are potentially dangerous and indicate the necessity of continuous cardiac monitoring.The objective of this study was to determine the changes in ECG among patients admitted with pharmaceutical drug induced poisoning in a tertiary care hospital in Dhaka.

Methods: This cross sectional study was carried out at the Department of Medicine, Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) during July-December, 2013. Detailed information were obtained; clinical examination and relevant investigations including ECG were done in each case according to protocol.

Results: Among 66 cases mean age was 22.9 (±6.47) years and male to female ratio was 1: 2.14 (21 Vs 45). Common drug groups taken by the study population were benzodiazepines in 31(47.0%) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCA) in 18(27.3%) cases.Normal ECG findings were found in 28 (42.4%) cases, 18 (27.3%) cases revealed sinus tachycardia, 11(16.7%) showed prolong QT Interval, 6(9.1%) had atrial tachycardia, 5(7.6%) showed wide QRS and 3(4.6%) cases revealed prolong PR interval. Patients withTCA poisoning developedsinus tachycardia in 11(61.1%), prolong QT Interval in 6(33.3%), wide QRS in 5(27.8%),atrial tachycardia in 5(27.8%), prolong PR Interval in 2(11.1%), and Tall R in aVRin 2(11.1%) cases. Prolong QT Interval were found among 3 (75.0%) patients with K+ efflux channel blockers (chlorpromazine, chlorpheniramine and quetiapine) overdose.Patients with beta blocker overdose developed sinus bradycardia in 4 (100.0%) and prolong PR Interval in 1(25.0%) cases.

Conclusion: Common drugs taken by the patients were amitriptyline sedatives. Wide QRS, prolong QT interval and some other ECG changes were observed by TCA poisoning in higher doses. TCA, benzodiazepines and K channel blockers induced prolong QT Interval in higher doses.Careful interpretation of ECG findings can provide key information to guide management of the poisoned patients.

Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull 2018; 44: 160-167


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How to Cite

Rahman, A. U., Chowdhury, A., & Jabeen, S. (2019). Changes in ECG among patients with drug induced poisoning in a tertiary care hospital. Bangladesh Medical Research Council Bulletin, 44(3), 160–167.



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