Electrocardiogram in pneumonia

Paul D. Stein, Fadi Matta, Maan Ekkah, Tarek Saleh, Muhammad Janjua, Yash R. Patel, Helmi Khadra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Findings on electrocardiogram may hint that pulmonary embolism (PE) is present when interpreted in the proper context and lead to definitive imaging tests. However, it would be useful to know if electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities also occur in patients with pneumonia and whether these are similar to ECG changes with PE. The purpose of this investigation was to determine ECG findings in patients with pneumonia. We retrospectively evaluated 62 adults discharged with a diagnosis of pneumonia who had no previous cardiopulmonary disease and had electrocardiogram obtained during hospitalization. The most prevalent ECG abnormality, other than sinus tachycardia, was minor nonspecific ST-segment or T-wave changes occurring in 13 of 62 (21%). Right atrial enlargement occurred in 4 of 62 (6.5%). QRS abnormalities were observed in 24 of 62 (39%). Right-axis deviation and S 1S2S3 were the most prevalent QRS abnormalities, which occurred in 6 of 62 (9.7%). Complete right bundle branch block and S1Q3T3 pattern occurred in 3 of 62 (4.8%). ECG abnormalities that were not present within 1 month previously or abnormalities that disappeared within 1 month included left-axis deviation, right-axis deviation, right atrial enlargement, right ventricular hypertrophy, S1S2S3, S1Q3T 3, low-voltage QRS complexes, and nonspecific ST-segment or T-wave abnormalities. In conclusion, electrocardiogram in patients with pneumonia often shows QRS abnormalities or nonspecific ST-segment or T-wave changes. ECG findings are similar to ECG abnormalities in PE and electrocardiogram cannot assist in the differential diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1836-1840
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Volume110
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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