Variability, reproducibility, and applications of precordial ST-segment mapping following acute myocardial infarction.
In 58 patients with uncomplicated acute anterior myocardial infarction, a mean decline in the sum of ST segments (sigmaST) of 34% was observed when comparing sigmaST values recorded at 3-6 hours with those recorded at 6-9 hours after the onset of symptoms (P less than 0.05). The mean absolute difference between 19 paired readings 1-2 hours apart was 2.9 +/- 3.0 mm and between 29 readings 2-4 hours apart 3.0 +/- 3.0 mm. However, the mean absolute difference between 38 paired readings 4-8 hours apart was 12.2 +/- 11.8 mm with a wide range of differences. Left ventricular failure and pericarditis were also associated with significantly higher sigmaST values. We conclude that there is a complex relationship between ST-segment elevation and a number of clinical factors during the first 48 hours after infarction. Nevertheless, precordial mapping remains a useful method for the evaluation of short-term (less than 4 hours) therapeutic interventions, if other relevant variables are unaltered and if carefully matched control groups are employed.
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