Acute alcohol intoxication effects on cardiac conduction system in healthy adults

Jānis Pudulis, Gita Dambrova, Alberts Bērziņš, Pauls Dzelve

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Heavy alcohol consumption and binge drinking is still a huge concern all over the world. It is well known that alcohol is a risk factor for cardiac arrhythmias such as atrial fibrillation, but there are not enough studies that analyse ECG changes due to acute alcohol intoxication. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of ethanol alcohol intoxication on the heart conduction system of young and healthy adults. A retrospective study was conducted in Riga East University Hospital. 172 patients aged between 18 and 40 years without known cardiac abnormalities or concomitant diseases were enrolled. 67 of them were hospitalised in department of Toxicology with alcohol intoxication and blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 1 g/l , and 105 patients were included in control group from hospital outpatient clinic. The ECG results were analysed for heart rate, heart rhythm, P wave interval, PR interval, QRS interval, QT interval and heart rate adjusted QT interval (QTc). Data were entered and processed using Microsoft Excel and IBM SPSS 22.0 software. Mean age of hospitalised patients with high BAC was 30,9±6,2 years and mean age in control group was 29,1±5,6 years. Mean BAC in hospitalised patients was 3,28±1,27 g/l. 66 patients or 98,5% of intoxicated patients had sinus rhythm and one (1,5%) had ectopic atrial rhythm. A wider P wave (107,2 vs 89,7 (ms), P<0,001), and prolongation of PR interval (165,7 vs 145,5(ms), P<0,001) was observed in ECGs of hospitalised patients, compared to control group. There was slightly wider QRS complex (100,4 vs 95,6 (ms) P=0.003), and a little longer QTc interval (410,0 vs 396,3(ms), P<0.001) in group of hospitalised individuals. Patients without known underlying heart diseases and with alcohol intoxication had conduction disturbances in both intraatrial and intraventricular conduction systems, compared to patients without alcohol intoxication.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes
EventRSU Research week 2021: Knowledge for Use in Practice - Rīga, Latvia
Duration: 24 Mar 202126 Mar 2021


ConferenceRSU Research week 2021: Knowledge for Use in Practice
Abbreviated titleRW2021
Internet address

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 3.4. Other publications in conference proceedings (including local)


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