50 year old male CC: Chest pain – Discussion

This is the discussion for 50 year old male CC: Chest pain.

You may recall that the patient started experiencing chest pain during sexual intercourse.

Many of you were appropriately concerned about the possible use of drugs for erectile dysfunction that would contraindicate nitroglycerin! Thanks for pointing that out.

In this case the patient was not taking any medication for erectile dysfunction.

Let’s take another look at the 12-lead ECG.

This ECG shows an essentially regular rhythm with no clearly discernible P-waves and wide QRS complexes (but not > 180 ms) at a rate of about 90.

The morphology of the QRS complexes are somewhat unusual, especially in the right precordial leads. If this is a supraventricular rhythm I would call it a non-specific intraventricular conduction defect or atypical left bundle branch block.

Regardless of what kind of conduction delay is present (even if it’s an accelerated idioventricular rhythm) we know that the depolarization is abnormal. T-wave discordance is present throughout the majority of the 12-lead ECG.

So does anything look like an acute injury pattern? Absolutely!

Let’s take a look at high lateral leads I and aVL.

Here we can see significant ST-elevation that is concordant with (in the same direction as) the majority of the QRS complex. It is also concordant with the terminal (last) wave of the QRS complex.

That’s bad! We have already satisfied one of Sgarbossa’s criteria to identify acute STEMI in the presence of left bundle branch block (LBBB).

Another feature worth pointing out is that leads I and aVL show pathological Q-waves.

Now let’s look at inferior leads III and aVF.

Even taking into account the wandering baseline and artifact we can appreciate concordant J-point depression.

Is this concerning? Yes!

Why?

Because of the ST-elevation in the high lateral leads. In the words of Tomas Garcia, M.D., one must always consider the company an ECG abnormality keeps.

Lead’s III and aVF are reciprocal to leads I and aVL. So the fact that ST-depression (or at least J-point depression) is present in two inferior leads while ST-elevation is present in the high lateral leads is troublesome.

How troublesome?

Troublesome enough for me to call this an acute STEMI.

Now let’s look at the right precordial leads.

Once again we see concordant J-point (and ST-segment) depression in leads V1-V3. Is this concerning? Absolutely! In fact this meets another of Sgarbossa’s criteria.

Finally, we can appreciate ST-elevation in leads V5 and V6 in spite of the wandering baseline there.

I can’t tell you what heart rhythm this patient is in but I feel confident we’re looking at an acute injury pattern.

So what was the outcome?

Unfortunately, this patient experienced cardiac arrest on arrival at the hospital and was not successfully resuscitated (which is more evidence that it was an acute STEMI).

See also:

An unusual case of right bundle branch block

An unusual case of right bundle branch block – Discussion

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EMS 12-Lead

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Comments
Colleen
68 y.o. male with weakness: “Treat the monitor, not the patient?”
Allergies? O2, combivent, Calcium. Repeat 12lead ekg. 2nd set of signs. Depending on 2nd Ekg and 2nd set of signs with combivent, reassessment of patient after interventions. Depending on reassessment, 2nd/3rd VS, and 2nd EKG, would determine my decision on where to transport. Per Massachusetts protocols.
2014-10-02 05:57:52
Billy Bob
68 y.o. male with weakness: “Treat the monitor, not the patient?”
Well I will lean with Dave and go with more education; this is a classic sine wave EKG and with more education hopefully we all could spot this from across the door because again as Dave said this is something rarely seen in EMS if at all; this is the ONE TIME I will advocate…
2014-10-02 02:49:58
david
68 y.o. male with weakness: “Treat the monitor, not the patient?”
Looks like sine wave. QRS >.15 tall peaked T waves prolonged PRI, indicative of hyperkalemia. Calcium, bicarbonate, 50% dextrose perhaps even some albuterol, insulin at the Ed
2014-10-02 02:44:55
Hollywood Mike
68 y.o. male with weakness: “Treat the monitor, not the patient?”
ALS weakness and fall. Mental status is such that he remembers falling. I'm not going to get all excited about this tracing. I'm treating the guy for his complaint and watching him like a hawk during transport. I've seen some aberrant conduction that makes this ECG look like NSR so I'm jaded by experience (need…
2014-10-02 01:51:00
PandaMedic
68 y.o. male with weakness: “Treat the monitor, not the patient?”
It's great to see so many different points of view and styles, it's sad that so many of us are being critical and condescending towards other practitioners. Dave has a point, in that more education is needed, but there is something to be said for everyone who is here, reviewing these case studies and actively…
2014-10-02 01:45:45

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