ECG Findings in Massive Pericardial Effusion

Electrical alternans is associated with Massive Pericardial Effusion

Massive pericardial effusion produces a triad of:

ECG findings with Electrical alternans

Electrical alternans occurs when

  • consecutive, normally-conducted QRS complexes alternate in height.
  • the heart swings backwards and forwards within a large fluid-filled pericardium.
ECG_massive_pericardial_effusion

Management

Patients with this ECG pattern need to be immediately assessed for clinical and echocardiographic evidence of tamponade.

How to diagnose pericardial tamponade on bedside echo, Part 1 and Part 2 (from the Ultrasound Podcast)


References


LITFL Further Reading


Advanced Reading


ECG LIBRARY 700

ECG LIBRARY

Electrocardiogram

Emergency Physician in Prehospital and Retrieval Medicine in Sydney, Australia. He has a passion for ECG interpretation and medical education | ECG Library |

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