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Does deep breathing affect the size of heart readings on ECG? Chest pressure while breathing in.

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Cardiologist, Interventional
Practicing since : 1996
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Does breathing in XXXXXXX affect the size of heart readings on ecg? e.g. Like large waves normally, then XXXXXXX breath, causing small waves on ecg reading, then back to normal upon exhaling.

Also have some pressure in chest when breathing in.
Posted Tue, 1 May 2012 in Hypertension and Heart Disease
Answered by Dr. Raja Sekhar Varma 34 hours later
Hello Mr XXXXXXX Rice,
Thank you for the query.

Technically, the standard ECG is a surface recording of the electrical potentials of the heart.

The effect of XXXXXXX breathing on ECG is as follows:
1) The small normal q waves in leads III and avF may reduce in size or even disappear.
2) When the breath is taken in, lung volume expands and comes around the heart. Thus, the voltages of the complexes (size of the complex in the ECG) in the chest leads - V1 to V6 may reduce.
3) The orientation of the heart in the chest cavity may be altered during XXXXXXX breaths which might reflect in a mild change in the QRS axis reading.
4) Respiration can affect the heart rate and the variation is known as sinus arrhythmia. This is a normal variation and not a disease. Absence of this variation may be a pointer to autonomic nervous system disease.

Unfortunately, the ECG that you have uploaded cannot be opened (zero bytes). You will have to upload the file once again.

I hope this clarifies your query. Feel free to contact me again for any further clarifications.

With regards,
Dr RS Varma

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