Massive pericardial effusion produces a triad of…
- Low voltage
- Electrical alternans
Electrical alternans is…
- when consecutive, normally-conducted QRS complexes alternate in height.
- produced by the heart swinging backwards and forwards within a large fluid-filled pericardium.
Patients with this ECG pattern need to be immediately assessed for clinical and echocardiographic evidence of tamponade.
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- Chan TC, Brady WJ, Harrigan RA, Ornato JP and Rosen PR. ECG in Emergency Medicine and Acute Care. Elsevier 2005
- Mattu A, Brady W. ECGs for the Emergency Physician 2, BMJ Books 2008.