R-wave Amplitude in Lead II of an Electrocardiograph Correlates with Central Hypovolemia in Human Beings

John G. McManus, Victor A. Convertino, William H. Cooke, David A. Ludwig, John B. Holcomb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: Previous animal and human experiments have suggested that reduction in central blood volume either increases or decreases the amplitude of R waves in various electrocardiograph (ECG) leads depending on underlying pathophysiology. In this investigation, we used graded central hypovolemia in adult volunteer subjects to test the hypothesis that moderate reductions in central blood volume increases R-wave amplitude in lead II of an ECG. Methods: A four-lead ECG tracing, heart rate (HR), estimated stroke volume (SV), systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, and mean arterial pressure were measured during baseline supine rest and during progressive reductions of central blood volume to an estimated volume loss of >1,000 mL with application of lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) in 13 healthy human volunteer subjects. Results: Lower-body negative pressure resulted in a significant progressive reduction in central blood volume, as indicated by a maximal decrease of 65% in SV and maximal elevation of 56% in HR from baseline to -60 mm Hg LBNP. R-wave amplitude increased (p < 0.0001) linearly with progressive LBNP. The amalgamated correlation (R2) between average stroke volume and average R-wave amplitude at each LBNP stage was -0.989. Conclusions: These results support our hypothesis that reduction of central blood volume in human beings is associated with increased R-wave amplitude in lead II of an ECG.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1010
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • LBNP
  • R-wave amplitude
  • hemorrhage
  • trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'R-wave Amplitude in Lead II of an Electrocardiograph Correlates with Central Hypovolemia in Human Beings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this