Document Detail

A Rare Case of Transient Inferior ST Segment Elevation.
Jump to Full Text
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24696756     Owner:  NLM     Status:  PubMed-not-MEDLINE    
The investigators review the electrocardiographic manifestations of hiatal hernia and describe the case of an 86-year-old male who presented with a large distended hiatal hernia causing electrocardiographic findings of new onset ST segment elevation of the inferior leads without reciprocal changes. After decompression, the patient's electrocardiogram demonstrated resolution of the ST segment elevation.
Babar Basir; Bilal Safadi; Richard J Kovacs; Bilal Tahir
Related Documents :
7647836 - Malignant catatonia--a continuing reality.
23884076 - Review of experience of a statewide poison control center with pediatric exposures to o...
22352996 - Perianal rhabdomyosarcoma: report of a case in an infant and review of the literature.
22896936 - Epiglottitis and related complications in adults. case reports and review of the litera...
17349826 - New-onset seizures in adults: possible association with consumption of popular energy d...
11190556 - Shock and dyspnea after cardiopulmonary resuscitation: a case of iatrogenic gastric rup...
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Heart views : the official journal of the Gulf Heart Association     Volume:  14     ISSN:  1995-705X     ISO Abbreviation:  Heart Views     Publication Date:  2013 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-04-03     Completed Date:  2014-04-03     Revised Date:  2014-04-07    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101316474     Medline TA:  Heart Views     Country:  India    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  117-20     Citation Subset:  -    
Export Citation:
APA/MLA Format     Download EndNote     Download BibTex
MeSH Terms

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

Full Text
Journal Information
Journal ID (nlm-ta): Heart Views
Journal ID (iso-abbrev): Heart Views
Journal ID (publisher-id): HV
ISSN: 1995-705X
ISSN: 0976-5123
Publisher: Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, India
Article Information
Copyright: © Heart Views
Print publication date: Season: Jul-Sep Year: 2013
Volume: 14 Issue: 3
First Page: 117 Last Page: 120
PubMed Id: 24696756
ID: 3969627
Publisher Id: HV-14-117
DOI: 10.4103/1995-705X.125928

A Rare Case of Transient Inferior ST Segment Elevation
Babar Basiraff1
Bilal Safadi1
Richard J. Kovacs2
Bilal Tahir3
Department of Medicine, Indiana University, Indianapolis, United States
1Department of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Indiana University, Indianapolis, United States
2Krannert Institute of Cardiology, Indiana University, Indianapolis, United States
3Department of Radiology, Indiana University, Indianapolis, United States
Correspondence: Address for correspondence: Dr. Mir Babar Basir, IU Medicine Residency Program, OPW M200, 1001 West 10th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, United States. E-mail:


Hiatal hernias are a common anomaly the incidence of which increases with age.[1] Hiatal hernias are considered one of the fundamental etiologies for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is one of the most common differential diagnoses in a patient with typical angina-like chest pain.

Patients with large hiatal hernias have been reported to have cardio-pulmonary symptoms as well as electrocardiographic and echocardiographic manifestations in several case reports.[4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20] Hiatal hernias should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with angina-like chest pain. Given the symptoms of GERD, the cardiopulmonary findings, and the high prevalence. To the best of our knowledge, we are reporting the first case of focal inferior segment ST segment elevation secondary to a large hiatal hernia.


The patient is an 86-year-old white male with a past medical history of hypertension and a 12-year history of a hiatal hernia. He does not have a history of diabetes, hyperlipidemia, or coronary artery disease. He is a non-smoker, active for his age, and has no recent history of chest pain. The patient takes 25 mg of metoprolol twice a day for his hypertension and 40 mg of omeprazole daily for GERD.

The patient presented to the emergency department with a chief complaint of persistent nausea. He received an abdominal film during his work-up which revealed a large hiatal hernia, which along with his persistent nausea, the possibility of gastric volvulous was entertained [Figure 1]. The patient subsequently underwent an abdominal CT scan that ruled out gastric volvulous and demonstrated a large hiatal hernia in which the stomach was almost entirely in the thorax [Figure 2]. An electrocardiogram while patient was in Emergency Department revealed new ST segment elevation in the inferior leads without reciprocal changes [Figure 3a]. The patient continued to have persistent nausea and started to develop pleuritic left sided chest pain. His vital signs remained stable with a temperature of 98.4, 16 respirations a minute, heart rate of 70, blood pressure of 156/63, and an oxygen saturation of 98% on room air. He was admitted for 24-h observation. His cardiac markers remained within normal limits. An echocardiogram revealed no wall motion abnormalities and a preserved ejection fraction.

During the hospitalization, the patient had a number of episodes of large volume emesis, resulting in dramatic improvement of his symptoms. Repeat electrocardiogram revealed resolution of the ST segment elevation [Figure 3b]. The patient received supportive care during his hospitalization and was referred to cardiothoracic surgery at discharge. Two months later, the patient received a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication. The procedure and post-operative course were without complications and the patient has been in good health since the surgery.


Arrhythmias such as atrial tachycardia, atrial fibrillation, supraventricular tachycardia, paroxysmal atrial flutter as well as electrocardiographic changes such as T wave inversion have been reported with large hiatal hernias in previous case reports. The exact mechanism of these electrocardiographic changes is not well understood. Kounis and colleagues hypothesized that an increase in direct or indirect pressure to the global surface of the heart caused electrical alternation seen on electocardiography.[13] Schilling and colleagues hypothesized two theories in their case of paroxysmal atrial flutter. First, that compression of the heart caused either ischemic changes or an anatomic conduction block causing the reentry. Second, that the hiatal hernia may cause compression of the vagal innervation to the heart causing electrocardiographic changes.[7]

Patients with large hiatal hernias have been reported to have cardio-pulmonary symptoms as well as electrocardiographic and echocardiographic manifestations in several case reports. These findings are reviewed in [Table 1]. Hokamaki and colleagues described an interesting case of a 79-year-old woman who developed diffuse ST segment elevation after decompression of a large hiatal hernia.[8] In their report, they hypothesize that rapid decompression of the hiatal hernia may have caused pericardial inflammation resulting in pericarditis. Tursi and colleagues also hypothesized that their finding of a supraventricular arrhythmia may have been caused by pericardial irritation.[6]

Our case represents a patient with focal ST segment elevation of the inferior leads, a new electrocardiographic finding associated with large hiatal hernias. The exact mechanism of these electrocardiographic changes is not known. We hypothesize that the focal ST segment elevation in the inferior leads could be related to torsion or compression of the epicardial artery from direct pressure from the hiatal hernia. These electrocardiographic changes could also be related to rotational changes of the heart associated with compression from the hiatal hernia. This may also explain the changing depth and duration of the inferior Q-waves. Regardless of the exact cause of these electrocardiographic changes, once the patient's had repeated episodes of large volume emesis, his hiatal hernia decompressed leading to resolution of his electrocardiographic findings.


Source of Support: Nil

Conflict of Interest: None declared.

1. Gordon C,Kang JY,Neild PJ,Maxwell JD. The role of the hiatus hernia in gastro-oesophageal reflux diseaseAliment Pharmacol TherYear: 2004207193215379832
2. Voskuil JH,Cramer MJ,Breumelhof R,Timmer R,Smout AJ. Prevalence of esophageal disorders in patients with chest pain newly referred to the cardiologistChestYear: 1996109121048625669
3. Lam HG,Dekker W,Kan G,Breedijk M,Smout AJ. Acute noncardiac chest pain in a coronary care unit. Evaluation by 24-hour pressure and pH recording of the esophagusGastroenterologyYear: 1992102453601732116
4. Landmark K,Storstein O. Ectopic atrial tachycardia on swallowing. Report on favourable effect of verapamilActa Medica ScandinavicaYear: 1979205251485405
5. Duygu H,Ozerkan F,Saygi S,Akyuz S. Persistent atrial fibrillation associated with gastroesophageal reflux accompanied by hiatal herniaAnadolu Kardiyol DergYear: 20088164518400640
6. Tursi A,Cuoco L. Recurrent supraventricular extrasystolia due to retrocardiac stomachAm J GastroenterolYear: 200196257811197272
7. Schilling RJ,Kaye GC. Paroxysmal atrial flutter suppressed by repair of a large paraesophageal herniaPacing Clin ElectrophysiolYear: 199821130359633074
8. Hokamaki J,Kawano H,Miyamoto S,Sugiyama S,Fukushima R,Sakamoto T,et al. Dynamic electrocardiographic changes due to cardiac compression by a giant hiatal herniaIntern MedYear: 2005441364015750274
9. Zanini G,Seresini G,Racheli M,Bortolotti M,Virgillo A,Novali A,et al. Electrocardiographic changes in hiatal hernis: A case reportCases JYear: 200915827819918411
10. Buonavolonta JJ,O’Connor WH,Weiss RL. Pseudoinfarction ECG pattern caused by diaphragmatic hernia uniquely resolved by transthoracic echocardiographyJ Am Soc EchocardiogrYear: 1994742587917355
11. Khouzam RN,Akhtar A,Minderman D,Kaiser J,D’Cruz IA. Echocardiographic aspects of hiatal hernia: A reviewJ Clin UltrasoundYear: 20073519620317354243
12. Akdemir I,Davutoglu V,Aktaran S. Giant hiatal hernia presenting with stable angina pectoris and syncope-a case reportAngiologyYear: 200152863511775629
13. Kounis NG,Zavras GM,Kitrou MP,Soufras GD,Constantinidis K. Unusual electrocardiographic manifestations in conditions with increased intrathoracic pressureActa CardiolYear: 198843653613266413
14. Gurgun C,Yavuzgil O,Akin M. Images in cardiology. Paraoesophageal hiatal hernia as a rare cause of dyspnoeaHeartYear: 20028727511847171
15. Hunt GS,Gilchrist DM,Hirji MK. Cardiac compression and decompensation due to hiatus herniaCan J CardiolYear: 19961229568624980
16. Gleadle J,Dennis M. A thrilling case of hiatus herniaPostgrad Med JYear: 19896583242616418
17. Delmonico JE Jr,Black A,Gensini GG. Diaphragmatic hiatal hernia and angina pectorisDis ChestYear: 196853309155640901
18. Siu CW,Jim MH,Ho HH,Chu F,Chan HW,Lau CP,et al. Recurrent acute heart failure caused by sliding hiatus herniaPostgrad Med JYear: 200581268915811895
19. Ito H,Kitami M,Ohgi S,Ohe H,Ozoe A,Sasaki H,et al. Large hiatus hernia compressing the heart and impairing the respiratory function: A case reportJ CardiolYear: 200341293412564111
20. Baerman JM,Hogan L,Swiryn S. Diaphragmatic hernia producing symptoms and signs of a left atrial massAm Heart JYear: 19881161982003394624
21. Gard JJ,Bader W,Enriquez-Sarano M,Frye RL,Michelena HI. Uncommon cause of ST elevationCirculationYear: 2011123e2596121382898


[Figure ID: F1]
Figure 1 

PA and lateral chest X-ray. (a) PA chest X-ray shows abnormal widening of the mediastinal contours (curved black arrows) with air-fluid level (straight black arrow) compatible with a large gastric hernia. (b) Lateral chest X-ray shows abnormal opacity in the middle mediastinum (curved black arrows) with air-fluid level (straight black arrow) consistent with a large gastric hernia

[Figure ID: F2]
Figure 2 

Axial and coronal chest CT. (a) Axial CT image shows the stomach (straight white arrows) within the thorax, posterior to the heart, consistent with a large gastric hernia. (b) Coronal CT image shows the stomach (straight white arrows) above the diaphragm, within the chest, compatible with a large gastric hernia. Additionally, the greater curvature (curved white arrow) of the stomach is positioned superior to the lesser curvature (straight black arrow) indicative of an organoaxial volvulus

[Figure ID: F3]
Figure 3 

Electrocardiogram. (a) 1 mm ST segment elevation in the inferior leads without reciprocal changes. (b) Complete resolution of ST segment elevation in the inferior leads

[TableWrap ID: T1] Table 1 

Cardiac manifestations associated with Hiatal Hernia

Article Categories:
  • Case Report

Keywords: Electrocardiogram, hiatal hernia, ST elevation.

Previous Document:  Contrast-induced Nephropathy.
Next Document:  Sphygmology of ibn sina, a message for future.