ECG findings in comparison to cardiovascular MR imaging in viral myocarditis Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: We sought (1) to assess prevalence and type of ECG abnormalities in patients with biopsy proven myocarditis and signs of myocardial damage indicated by LGE, and (2) to evaluate whether ECG abnormalities are related to the pattern of myocardial damage. BACKGROUND: Prevalence and type of ECG abnormalities in patients presenting biopsy proven myocarditis, as well as any relation between ECG abnormalities and the in vivo pattern of myocardial damage are unknown. METHODS: Eighty-four consecutive patients fulfilled the following criteria: (1) newly diagnosed biopsy proven viral myocarditis, and (2) non-ischemic LGE, and (3) standard 12-lead-ECG upon admission. RESULTS: Sixty-five patients with biopsy proven myocarditis had abnormal ECGs upon admission (77%). In this group, ST-abnormalities were detected most frequently (69%), followed by bundle-branch-block in 26%, and Q-waves in 8%. Atrial fibrillation was present in 6%, and AV-Block in two patients. In patients with septal LGE ST-abnormalities were more frequently located in anterolateral leads compared to patients with lateral LGE, in whom ST-abnormalities were most frequently observed in inferolateral leads. Bundle-branch-block occurred more often in patients with septal LGE (11/17). Four of five patients with Q-waves had severe and almost transmural LGE in the lateral wall. CONCLUSION: ECG abnormalities can be found in most patients with biopsy proven viral myocarditis at initial presentation. However, similar to suspected acute myocardial infarction, a normal ECG does not rule out myocarditis. ECG findings are related to the amount and area of damage as indicated by LGE, which confirms the important clinical role of ECG.


  • Deluigi, Claudia C
  • Ong, Peter
  • Hill, Stephen
  • Wagner, Anja
  • Kispert, Eva
  • Klingel, Karin
  • Kandolf, Reinhard
  • Sechtem, Udo
  • Mahrholdt, Heiko

publication date

  • April 2013