Wednesday, 14 June 2017

ECG of the Week - 12th June 2017 - Interpretation

The following ECG is from an 81yr old female who presented complaining of dizziness, nausea and fatigue. She has a history of pulmonary hypertension and paroxysmal atrial fibrillation.
Click to enlarge
  • Ventricular rate ~36 bpm
  • Atrial rate ~72 bpm
  • Regular ventricular complexes
  • Regular atrial complexes
  • 2:1 AV Block
  • Right axis deviation
  • PR - Normal (~160-180ms)
    • In conducted complexes
  • QRS - Prolonged (120ms)
  • RBBB Morphology
    • Not entirely classic appearance
  • ST Depression II, III, aVF, V2-4
  • ST Elevation lead aVL
    • Only 1 full complex captured which has 1mm STE
    • Partially captured ST segment shows less ST elevation
    • ? Artefact
  • Biphasic T wave leads V2-3
  • 2:1 AV block
    • QRS Prolongation favours Mobitz II / Infra-nodal block
  • Abnormal QRS morphology and ST/T wave changes
The ST and T wave changes on the ECG are interesting and raise the question of potential causes for the conduction abnormality. Differentials for these features include:
  • Ischaemia / ACS
  • Electrolyte Abnormality
  • Drug effect especially digoxin
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Myocarditis
  • Hypothermia
  • Hypothyroid / Hyperthyroid
Interestingly in our case there was no discernible or reversible cause identified for her conduction abnormality.
What happened ?
The patient was commenced on iv isoprenaline infusion due to symtomatic nature of the bradyarrhythmia. Medication review relieved no culprit mediation and her electrolytes and cardiac biomarkers were normal. She underwent an uncomplicated dual chamber PPM insertion, settings DDD-CLS 60-130 bpm, and was discharged following a brief in-patient stay. The DDD code refers to pacing and sensing of both atria and ventricles with potential response of either inhibition or triggering of pacing. The CLS is a Biotronik proprietary Closed-Loop Simulation algorithm (explained here) 
References / Further Reading
Life in the Fast Lane
  • Chan TC, Brady WJ, Harrigan RA, Ornato JP, Rosen P. ECG in Emergency Medicine and Acute Care. Elsevier Mosby 2005.

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