With EKGs we can identify Arrhythmias Myocardial ischemia and infarction Pericarditis Chamber hypertrophy Electrolyte disturbances (i.e. hyperkalemia, hypokalemia) Drug toxicity (i.e. digoxin and drugs which prolong the QT interval)
EKG Leads which measure the difference in electrical potential between two points 1. Bipolar Leads: Two different points on the body 2. Unipolar Leads: One point on the body and a virtual reference point with zero electrical potential, located in the center of the heart
EKG Leads The standard EKG has 12 leads: 3 Standard Limb Leads 3 Augmented Limb Leads 6 Precordial Leads
Atrial depolarisation Electrically both atria act almost as one. They have relatively little muscle and generate a single, small P wave. P wave amplitude rarely exceeds two and a half small squares (0.25 mV). The duration of the P wave should not exceed three small squares (0.12 s). The wave of depolarisation is directed inferiorly and towards the left, and thus the P wave tends to be upright in leads I and II and inverted in lead aVR. Sinus P waves are usually most prominently seen in leads II and V1. A negative P wave in lead I may be due to incorrect recording of the electrocardiogram (that is, with transposition of the left and right arm electrodes), dextrocardia, or abnormal atrial rhythms. Normal P waves may have a slight notch, particularly in the precordial (chest) leads. Bifid P waves result from slight asynchrony between right and left atrial depolarisation. A pronounced notch with a peaktopeak interval of > 1 mm (0.04 s) is usually pathological, and is seen in association with a left atrial abnormality—for example, in mitral stenosis.
The R wave in lead V6 is smaller than the R wave in V5, since the V6 electrode is further from the left ventricle. The depth of the S wave, generally, should not exceed 30 mm in a normal individual (although > 30 mm are occasionally recorded in normal young male adults) In another website it is also shown that small q wave seen in leads III and aVF Normal q-waves reflect normal septal activation (beginning on the LV septum); they are narrow (<0.04s duration) and small (<25% the amplitude of the R wave). They are often seen in leads I and aVL when the QRS axis is to the left of +60o, and in leads II, III, aVF when the QRS axis is to the right of +60o. Septal q waves should not be confused with the pathologic Q waves of myocardial infarction (http://medstat.med.utah.edu/kw/ecg/ecg_outline/Lesson3/index.html)
Sokolow + Lyon (Am Heart J, 1949;37:161) S V1+ R V5 or V6 > 35 mm Cornell criteria (Circulation, 1987;3: 565-72) SV3 + R avl > 28 mm in men SV3 + R avl > 20 mm in women Framingham criteria (Circulation,1990; 81:815-820) R avl > 11mm, R V4-6 > 25mm S V1-3 > 25 mm S V1 or V2 + R V5 or V6 > 35 mm R I + S III > 25 mm Romhilt + Estes (Am Heart J, 1986:75:752-58) Point score system
ST segment depression is always an abnormal finding, although often nonspecific (http://medstat.med.utah.edu/kw/ecg/ecg_outline/Lesson3/index.html)
As a general rule, T wave amplitude corresponds with the amplitude of the preceding R wave, though the tallest T waves are seen in leads V3 and V4. Tall T waves may be seen in acute myocardial ischaemia and are a feature of hyperkalaemia.
Poor Man's Guide to upper limits of QT: For HR = 70 bpm, QT<0.40 sec; for every 10 bpm increase above 70 subtract 0.02 sec, and for every 10 bpm decrease below 70 add 0.02 sec. For example: QT < 0.38 @ 80 bpm QT < 0.42 @ 60 bpm