The 12-lead ECG is a non-invasive, inexpensive and readily available tool that identifies occult but potentially lethal cardiac conduction abnormalities, such as those seen in tricyclic antidepressant cardiotoxicity. For these reasons, it is recommended as a screening test in all patients who present following deliberate self-poisoning.
The 12-lead ECG provides valuable real-time prognostic information that is based on toxic effects at the target organ; often not available from clinical evaluation or serum drug assays. Serial ECGs provide valuable monitoring of the progression or regression of cardiotoxicity during the clinical course. They inform decision-making regarding level of care and monitoring, and disposition.
References + Resources
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