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      Etiologies and Predictors of ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction

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          Background and Objectives

          Rapid diagnosis of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is essential for the appropriate management of patients. We investigated the prevalence, etiologies and predictors of false-positive diagnosis of STEMI and subsequent inappropriate catheterization laboratory activation in patients with presumptive diagnosis of STEMI.

          Subjects and Methods

          Four hundred fifty-five consecutive patients (62±13 years, 345 males) with presumptive diagnosis of STEMI between August 2008 and November 2010 were included.


          A false-positive diagnosis of STEMI was made in 34 patients (7.5%) with no indication of coronary artery lesion. Common causes for the false-positive diagnosis were coronary spasm in 10 patients, left ventricular hypertrophy in 5 patients, myocarditis in 4 patients, early repolarization in 3 patients, and previous myocardial infarction and stress-induced cardiomyopathy in 2 patients each. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, symptom-to-door time >12 hours {odds ratio (OR) 4.995, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.384-18.030, p=0.014}, presenting symptom other than chest pain (OR 7.709, 95% CI 1.255-39.922, p=0.027), absence of Q wave (OR 9.082, CI 2.631-31.351, p<0.001) and absence of reciprocal changes on electrocardiography (ECG) (OR 17.987, CI 5.295-61.106, p<0.001) were independent predictors of false-positive diagnosis of STEMI.


          In patients whom STEMI was planned for primary coronary intervention, the false-positive diagnosis of STEMI was not rare. Correct interpretation of ECGs and consideration of ST-segment elevation in conditions other than STEMI may reduce inappropriate catheterization laboratory activation.

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          Most cited references 27

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            Significance of a fragmented QRS complex versus a Q wave in patients with coronary artery disease.

            Q waves on a 12-lead ECG are markers of a prior myocardial infarction (MI). However, they may regress or even disappear over time, and there is no specific ECG sign of a non-Q-wave MI. Fragmented QRS complexes (fQRSs), which include various RSR' patterns, without a typical bundle-branch block are markers of altered ventricular depolarization owing to a prior myocardial scar. We postulated that the presence of an fQRS might improve the ability to detect a prior MI compared with Q waves alone by ECG. A cohort of 479 consecutive patients (mean+/-SD age, 58.2+/-13.2 years; 283 males) who were referred for nuclear stress tests was studied. The fQRS included various morphologies of the QRS ( 1 R' (fragmentation) in 2 contiguous leads, corresponding to a major coronary artery territory. The Q wave was present in 71 (14.8%) patients, an fQRS was present in 191 (34.9%) patients, and an fQRS and/or a Q wave was present in 203 (42.3%) patients. Sensitivity, specificity, and the negative predictive value for myocardial scar as detected by single photon emission computed tomography analysis were 36.3%, 99.2%, and 70.8%, respectively, for the Q wave alone; 85.6%, 89%, and 92.7%, respectively, for the fQRS; and 91.4%, 89%, and 94.2%, respectively, for the Q wave and/or fQRS. The fQRS on a 12-lead ECG is a marker of a prior MI, defined by regional perfusion abnormalities, which has a substantially higher sensitivity and negative predictive value compared with the Q wave.
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              Apical ballooning syndrome: an important differential diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction.


                Author and article information

                Korean Circ J
                Korean Circ J
                Korean Circulation Journal
                The Korean Society of Cardiology
                June 2013
                30 June 2013
                : 43
                : 6
                : 370-376
                Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea.
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Yongkeun Cho, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Kyungpook National University Hospital, 130 Dongdeok-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu 700-721, Korea. Tel: 82-53-200-5528, Fax: 82-53-426-2046, choyk@
                Copyright © 2013 The Korean Society of Cardiology

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article

                Cardiovascular Medicine

                false positive reactions, myocardial infarction


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