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## ECG interpretations

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**Course Objectives**• To recognize the normal rhythm of the heart - “Normal Sinus Rhythm.” • To recognize the 13 most common rhythm disturbances. • To recognize an acute myocardial infarction on a 12-lead ECG.**Learning Modules**• ECG Basics • How to Analyze a Rhythm • Normal Sinus Rhythm • Heart Arrhythmias • Diagnosing a Myocardial Infarction • Advanced 12-Lead Interpretation**Normal Impulse Conduction**Sinoatrial node AV node Bundle of His Bundle Branches Purkinje fibers**Impulse Conduction & the ECG**Sinoatrial node AV node Bundle of His Bundle Branches Purkinje fibers**The “PQRST”**• P wave - Atrial depolarization • QRS -Ventricular depolarization • T wave -Ventricular repolarization**The PR Interval**Atrial depolarization + delay in AV junction (AV node/Bundle of His) (delay allows time for the atria to contract before the ventricles contract)**Pacemakers of the Heart**• SA Node - Dominant pacemaker with an intrinsic rate of 60 - 100 beats/ minute. • AV Node - Back-up pacemaker with an intrinsic rate of 40 - 60 beats/minute. • Ventricular cells - Back-up pacemaker with an intrinsic rate of 20 - 45 bpm.**The ECG Paper**• Horizontally • One small box - 0.04 s • One large box - 0.20 s • Vertically • One large box - 0.5 mV**The ECG Paper (cont)**3 sec 3 sec • Every 3 seconds (15 large boxes) is marked by a vertical line. • This helps when calculating the heart rate. NOTE: the following strips are not marked but all are 6 seconds long.**ECG Rhythm Interpretation**How to Analyze a Rhythm**Rhythm Analysis**• Step 1: Calculate rate. • Step 2: Determine regularity. • Step 3: Assess the P waves. • Step 4: Determine PR interval. • Step 5: Determine QRS duration.**Step 1: Calculate Rate**3 sec 3 sec • Option 1 • Count the # of R waves in a 6 second rhythm strip, then multiply by 10. • Reminder: all rhythm strips in the Modules are 6 seconds in length. Interpretation? 9 x 10 = 90 bpm**Step 1: Calculate Rate**• Option 2 • Find a R wave that lands on a bold line. • Count the number of large boxes to the next R wave. If the second R wave is 1 large box away the rate is 300, 2 boxes - 150, 3 boxes - 100, 4 boxes - 75, etc. (cont) R wave**Step 1: Calculate Rate**300 150 100 75 60 50 • Option 2 (cont) • Memorize the sequence: 300 - 150 - 100 - 75 - 60 - 50 Interpretation? • Approx. 1 box less than 100 = 95 bpm**Step 2: Determine regularity**R R • Look at the R-R distances (using a caliper or markings on a pen or paper). • Regular (are they equidistant apart)? Occasionally irregular? Regularly irregular? Irregularly irregular? Interpretation? Regular**Step 3: Assess the P waves**• Are there P waves? • Do the P waves all look alike? • Do the P waves occur at a regular rate? • Is there one P wave before each QRS? Interpretation? Normal P waves with 1 P wave for every QRS**Step 4: Determine PR interval**• Normal: 0.12 - 0.20 seconds. (3 - 5 boxes) Interpretation? 0.12 seconds**Step 5: QRS duration**• Normal: 0.04 - 0.12 seconds. (1 - 3 boxes) Interpretation? 0.08 seconds**Rhythm Summary**• Rate 90-95 bpm • Regularity regular • P waves normal • PR interval 0.12 s • QRS duration 0.08 s Interpretation? Normal Sinus Rhythm**NSR Parameters**• Rate 60 - 100 bpm • Regularity regular • P waves normal • PR interval 0.12 - 0.20 s • QRS duration 0.04 - 0.12 s Any deviation from above is sinus tachycardia, sinus bradycardia or an arrhythmia**Arrhythmia Formation**Arrhythmias can arise from problems in the: • Sinus node • Atrial cells • AV junction • Ventricular cells**The SA Node can:**fire too slow fire too fast Sinus Bradycardia Sinus Tachycardia* SA Node Problems *Sinus Tachycardia may be an appropriate response to stress.**Atrial cells can:**fire occasionally from a focus fire continuously due to a looping re-entrant circuit Premature Atrial Contractions (PACs) Atrial Flutter Atrial Cell Problems**Atrial Cell Problems**Atrial cells can also: • fire continuously from multiple foci or fire continuously due to multiple micro re-entrant “wavelets” Atrial Fibrillation Atrial Fibrillation**Teaching Moment**Atrial tissue Multiple micro re-entrant “wavelets” refers to wandering small areas of activation which generate fine chaotic impulses. Colliding wavelets can, in turn, generate new foci of activation.**The AV junction can:**fire continuously due to a looping re-entrant circuit block impulses coming from the SA Node Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia AV Junctional Blocks AV Junctional Problems**Ventricular cells can:**fire occasionally from 1 or more foci fire continuously from multiple foci fire continuously due to a looping re-entrant circuit Premature Ventricular Contractions (PVCs) Ventricular Fibrillation Ventricular Tachycardia Ventricular Cell Problems**Arrhythmias**• Sinus Rhythms • Premature Beats • Supraventricular Arrhythmias • Ventricular Arrhythmias • AV Junctional Blocks**Sinus Rhythms**• Sinus Bradycardia • Sinus Tachycardia**Rhythm #1**• Rate? 30 bpm • Regularity? regular • P waves? normal • PR interval? 0.12 s • QRS duration? 0.10 s Interpretation? Sinus Bradycardia**Sinus Bradycardia**• Deviation from NSR - Rate < 60 bpm**Sinus Bradycardia**• Etiology: SA node is depolarizing slower than normal, impulse is conducted normally (i.e. normal PR and QRS interval).**Rhythm #2**• Rate? 130 bpm • Regularity? regular • P waves? normal • PR interval? 0.16 s • QRS duration? 0.08 s Interpretation? Sinus Tachycardia**Sinus Tachycardia**• Deviation from NSR - Rate > 100 bpm**Sinus Tachycardia**• Etiology: SA node is depolarizing faster than normal, impulse is conducted normally. • Remember: sinus tachycardia is a response to physical or psychological stress, not a primary arrhythmia.**Premature Beats**• Premature Atrial Contractions(PACs) • Premature Ventricular Contractions(PVCs)**Rhythm #3**• Rate? 70 bpm • Regularity? occasionally irreg. • P waves? 2/7 different contour • PR interval? 0.14 s (except 2/7) • QRS duration? 0.08 s Interpretation? NSR with Premature Atrial Contractions**Premature Atrial Contractions**• Deviation from NSR • These ectopic beats originate in the atria (but not in the SA node), therefore the contour of the P wave, the PR interval, and the timing are different than a normally generated pulse from the SA node.**Premature Atrial Contractions**• Etiology: Excitation of an atrial cell forms an impulse that is then conducted normally through the AV node and ventricles.**Teaching Moment**• When an impulse originates anywhere in the atria (SA node, atrial cells, AV node, Bundle of His) and then is conducted normally through the ventricles, the QRS will be narrow (0.04 - 0.12 s).**Rhythm #4**• Rate? 60 bpm • Regularity? occasionally irreg. • P waves? none for 7th QRS • PR interval? 0.14 s • QRS duration? 0.08 s (7th wide) Interpretation? Sinus Rhythm with 1 PVC**PVCs**• Deviation from NSR • Ectopic beats originate in the ventricles resulting in wide and bizarre QRS complexes. • When there are more than 1 premature beats and look alike, they are called “uniform”. When they look different, they are called “multiform”.**PVCs**• Etiology: One or more ventricular cells are depolarizing and the impulses are abnormally conducting through the ventricles.**Teaching Moment**• When an impulse originates in a ventricle, conduction through the ventricles will be inefficient and the QRS will be wide and bizarre.**Ventricular Conduction**Normal Signal moves rapidly through the ventricles Abnormal Signal moves slowly through the ventricles**Supraventricular Arrhythmias**• Atrial Fibrillation • Atrial Flutter • Paroxysmal Supra Ventricular Tachycardia (PSVT)**Rhythm #5**• Rate? 100 bpm • Regularity? irregularly irregular • P waves? none • PR interval? none • QRS duration? 0.06 s Interpretation? Atrial Fibrillation**Atrial Fibrillation**• Deviation from NSR • No organized atrial depolarization, so no normal P waves (impulses are not originating from the sinus node). • Atrial activity is chaotic (resulting in an irregularly irregular rate). • Common, affects 2-4%, up to 5-10% if > 80 years old**Atrial Fibrillation**• Etiology:due to multiple re-entrant wavelets conducted between the R & L atria and the impulses are formed in a totally unpredictable fashion. • The AV node allows some of the impulses to pass through at variable intervals (so rhythm is irregularly irregular).