Consideration of QRS complex in addition to ST-segment abnormalities in the estimation of the "risk region" during acute anterior or inferior myocardial infarction

F. E. Vervaat*, S. Bouwmeester, I.E.G. van Hellemond, G. S. Wagner, A. P. M. Gorgels

*Corresponding author for this work

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The myocardial area at risk (MaR) is an important aspect in acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). It represents the myocardium at the onset of the STEMI that is ischemic and could become infarcted if no reperfusion occurs. The MaR, therefore, has clinical value because it gives an indication of the amount of myocardium that could potentially be salvaged by rapid reperfusion therapy. The most validated method for measuring the MaR is Tc-99m-sestamibi SPECT, but this technique is not easily applied in the clinical setting. Another method that can be used for measuring the MaR is the standard ECG-based scoring system, Aldrich ST score, which is more easily applied. This ECG-based scoring system can be used to estimate the extent of acute ischemia for anterior or inferior left ventricular locations, by considering quantitative changes in the ST-segment Deviations in the ST-segment baseline that occur following an acute coronary occlusion represent the ischemic changes in the transmurally ischemic myocardium. In most instances however, the ECG is not available at the very first moments of STEMI and as times passes the ischemic myocardium becomes necrotic with regression of the ST-segment deviation along with progressive changes of the QRS complex. Thus over the time course of the acute event, the Aldrich ST score would be expected to progressively underestimate the MaR, as was seen in studies with SPECT as gold standard; anterior STEMI (r = 0.21, p = 0.32) and inferior STEMI (r = 0.17,p = 0.36). Another standard ECG-based scoring system is the Selvester QRS score, which can be used to estimate the final infarct size by considering the quantitative changes in the QRS complex. Therefore, additional consideration of the Selvester QRS score in the acute phase could potentially provide the "component" of infarcted myocardium that is missing when the Aldrich ST score alone is used to determine the MaR in the acute phase, as was seen in studies with SPECT as gold standard: anterior STEMI (r = 0.47, p = 0.02) and inferior STEMI (r = 0.58, p <0.001). The aim of this review will be to discuss the findings regarding the combining of the Aldrich ST score and initial Selvester QRS score in determining the MaR at the onset of the event in acute anterior or inferior ST-elevation myocardial infarction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-539
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • QRS complex
  • ST-segment abnormalities
  • Acute anterior or inferior myocardial infarction

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