Differences in ST-elevation and T-wave amplitudes do not reliably differentiate takotsubo cardiomyopathy from acute anterior myocardial infarction.

Research paper by Olavi O Parkkonen, Jaakko J Allonen, Satu S Vaara, Matti M Viitasalo, Markku S MS Nieminen, Juha J Sinisalo

Indexed on: 16 Jul '14Published on: 16 Jul '14Published in: Journal of Electrocardiology


Previous efforts to distinguish acute anterior ST-elevation myocardial infarction (anterior-STEMI) from various forms of takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC) by electrocardiography (ECG) have produced differing results.We performed a retrospective comparison of acute ECGs between 48 apical and 9 mid-ventricular TTC patients, with 96 anterior-STEMI patients. ECG was recorded in acute phase (<24h from onset of pain), and analyzed for ST-changes, negative T-waves, abnormal Q-waves and QT-interval duration. Time from onset of pain to ECG was gathered from patient records.Anterior-STEMI patients had ST-elevation in lead V1 more frequently than apical (70% vs 15%, p<0.0001) or mid-ventricular TTC patients (70% vs 0%, p<0.0001), and higher ST-elevation amplitudes in leads V2-V5 (p<0.02). Lack of ST-elevation in lead V1 and ST-elevation amplitude <2mm in lead V2 distinguished TTC from anterior-STEMI patients with 63% sensitivity and 93% specificity, with 79% predictive value.In patients with anterior ST-elevation and acute chest pain, lack of ST-elevation in lead V1 and ST-elevation amplitude <2mm in lead V2 suggests a TTC diagnosis. However, this criterion is not reliable enough in clinical practice to distinguish between TTC and anterior-STEMI patients.

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