The Open Cardiovascular Medicine Journal

ISSN: 1874-1924 ― Volume 13, 2019

Electrocardiogram Changes with Acute Alcohol Intoxication: A Systematic Review

Hitesh Raheja1, *, Vinod Namana2, Kirti Chopra3, Ankur Sinha2, Sushilkumar Satish Gupta2, Stephan Kamholz2, Norbert Moskovits2, Jacob Shani2, Gerald Hollander2
1 Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, USA
2 Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, USA
3 Indiana University School of Dentistry, Indianapolis, USA



Acute alcohol intoxication has been associated with cardiac arrhythmias but the electrocardiogram (ECG) changes associated with acute alcohol intoxication are not well defined in the literature.


Highlight the best evidence regarding the ECG changes associated with acute alcohol intoxication in otherwise healthy patients and the pathophysiology of the changes.


A literature search was carried out; 4 studies relating to ECG changes with acute alcohol intoxication were included in this review.


Of the total 141 patients included in the review, 90 (63.8%) patients had P-wave prolongation, 80 (56%) patients had QTc prolongation, 19 (13.5%) patients developed T-wave abnormalities, 10 (7%) patients had QRS complex prolongation, 3 (2.12%) patients developed ST-segment depressions.


The most common ECG changes associated with acute alcohol intoxication are (in decreasing order of frequency) P-wave and QTc prolongation, followed by T-wave abnormalities and QRS complex prolongation. Mostly, these changes are completely reversible.

Keywords: ECG, Alcohol, Alcohol and arrhythmia, Alcohol intoxication, Ethanol toxicity.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2018
Volume: 12
First Page: 1
Last Page: 6
Publisher Id: TOCMJ-12-1
DOI: 10.2174/1874192401812010001

Article History:

Received Date: 07/09/2017
Revision Received Date: 04/12/2017
Acceptance Date: 26/01/2018
Electronic publication date: 12/02/2018
Collection year: 2018

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© 2018 Raheja et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Clinical associate, Cleveland Clinic, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio-44195, United States of America; Tel: 917-514-4928; E-mail:


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