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Cerebral T Waves, an Indicator for Non-Ischaemic Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy

Author(s): Kunal M. Ajmera

Alcohol has been a well-known cardiotoxin for a long time now. Alcohol use (a leading cause of preventable death) causes >95,000 death/year or 261 deaths/day in the US with an average of 29 life-year lost, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Alcohol dependency is seen in at least 25% of hospitalized patients. EKG changes associated with alcoholic-dilated cardiomyopathy are many and often non-specific. It is easy not to evaluate otherwise young and asymptomatic alcoholics coming with alcohol withdrawal symptoms for cardiomyopathy. This report documents ECG findings of cerebral T waves, in a young, otherwise healthy alcoholic patient coming in for the treatment of alcohol withdrawal seizures, who later got diagnosed with alcoholic-dilated cardiomyopathy. It is of paramount importance to pay close attention to EKG changes in young alcoholic patients as delay in diagnosis of alcoholic-dilated cardiomyopathy is lethal and can often cause irreversible myocyte damage.

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