75-year old smoker presenting with acute dyspnoea and productive cough. Describe the ECG.
Describe and interpret this ECG
ECG ANSWER and INTERPRETATION
This ECG demonstrates many of the features of chronic pulmonary disease:
- Rightward QRS axis (+90 degrees).
- Peaked P waves in the inferior leads > 2.5 mm (P pulmonale).
- Rightward P-wave axis (inverted in aVL).
- “Clockwise rotation” of the heart with a delayed R/S transition point (transitional lead = V5).
- Absent R waves in the right precordial leads (SV1-SV2-SV3 pattern).
- Low voltages in the left-sided leads (I, aVL, V5-6).
Tachycardia may be due to dyspnoea, hypoxia or beta-agonist treatment. This ECG pattern is a common finding in patients with COPD. The vertical axis (+90 degrees) is due to hyperinflation of the lungs causing vertical orientation of the heart.