Document Detail

Electrical alternans: a sign, not a diagnosis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23912146     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Data-Review    
Electrical alternans is an electrocardiographic phenomenon defined as an alternating amplitude or axis of the QRS complexes in any or all leads. It is most commonly associated with a large pericardial effusion and impending threat of cardiac tamponade; however, a literature review showed that this electrocardiographic finding can be seen in a variety of other clinical scenarios with varying etiologies and prognoses. Several electrocardiogram examples are presented with a brief review of the potential mechanisms and clinical significance and demonstrate that electrical alternans is more correctly considered an electrocardiographic sign, rather than a diagnosis, with a broad differential for potential etiologies. For some causes, the clinical significance is well known, but for others, further research is needed.
Manju Goyal; Kevin M Woods; John E Atwood
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Southern medical journal     Volume:  106     ISSN:  1541-8243     ISO Abbreviation:  South. Med. J.     Publication Date:  2013 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-08-05     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0404522     Medline TA:  South Med J     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  485-9     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
From the Cardiology Service, Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas, and the Cardiology Service, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland.
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