This is an original illustration by Dawn Altman. You may use it free of charge to enhance your presentations or student handouts. Click on image, or right click and SAVE image.
This ECG was obtained from a 13-year-old boy who had previously been in NSR. At that time, he was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, and he had delta waves. He now presents with a supraventricular tachycardia. People with W-P-W have one or more accessory pathways which allow atrial impulses to bypass the AV node and “pre-excite” the ventricles. An accessory pathway, along with the normal pathway through the AV node, can form a functional circuit, allowing conduction to proceed down one pathway and return up the other, in a rapidly repeating circular motion. This causes paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia.
In W-P-W, the most common type of SVT is AV reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT), also called AV reentry tachycardia. Conduction through the accessory pathway can be forward (anterograde) or backward (retrograde). The most common type of reentrant conduction in W-P-W is ORTHODROMIC, which we see here. The impulse conducts forward through the AV node, and backward over the accessory pathway. There is no delta wave, as there is no pre-excitation of the ventricles.
Features of orthodromic AVRT are:
Fast rate (usually approximately 140-250 beats per minute)
Narrow QRS complexes (unless BBB or IVCD present)
P waves retrograde, if seen (negative in II, positive in aVR and V1)
ST depression and T wave inversion common.
Found this "gem" buried deep-down in the back of the vault and have wanted to share it for many months. Due to the impressive QRS voltage and overlapping waveforms, I initially debated on whether or not I should post this at 1/2-standard but in the end I decided to retain its original size. This ECG is from 27 years ago so I have very limited information, but this is what I do know.
WPW is one of the "pre-excitation" syndromes caused by an accessory pathway that bypasses the AV node. This pathway is called the Bundle of Kent. This ECG clearly demonstrates the "delta wave" caused by the atrial impulse traveling around the AV node and pre-exciting part of the ventricle. These delta waves are best seen in Leads I and V4 - V6. The delta wave in Lead II is a small notch. A short PR interval is also seen. The accessory pathway can, along with the normal pathway through the AV node, form a circle or circuit, making the heart vulnerable to re-entrant tachycardia. This ECG is from a four-year-old girl who had not been previously diagnosed.
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