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Cardiol Clin. 2006 Aug;24(3):387-99, ix.

Electrocardiographic diagnosis of myocardial infarction and ischemia during cardiac pacing.

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Division of Cardiology, University of South Florida College of Medicine and Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL, USA.


For the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (MI) using the QRS complex, the ECG provides only a low sensitivity (25%) but high specificity (close to 100%), but one cannot determine the age of an MI from the QRS complex. Although one cannot determine with certainty the age of an MI (hours, days or even years) from a single ECG, the presence of primary ST-segment abnormalities strongly suggests the diagnosis of acute MI or severe ischemia and the possible need for emergency revascularization. For acute MI, ST elevation>or=5 mm in predominantly negative QRS complexes is the best marker with a sensitivity of 53%, and specificity of 88%. A recent investigation suggests that T wave abnormalities from ischemia can be differentiated from those caused by cardiac memory related to pacing.

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