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Posts Tagged ‘dispropotiante st depresion due to anemai’

This is a true story  . . . happened  many years  ago under my direct  vision.

A  48 year old women came with significant breathlessness and catchy  sub -sternal chest pain .

“I  was exerting too much in recent days  doctor” , she said .

Her ECG  showed  a tachycardia and dramatic ST depression in most leads .

The ER in charge promptly texted the cardiologist .

The moment he saw the ECG ,he  had no hesitation , to order for an emergency angioplasty  (  How can he plan a angioplasty  , without even  knowing the coroanry anatomy . some one murmured  . May be   . . what he probably  meant was emergency angiogram   the other explained )    Further , he was telling his    fellows  . . . that  this is going top be  tough case and a possible  left main PCI .

An emergency  angiogram was done .  On table  it was a huge  surprise for every one ,  it was a  a classical  text book   look alike normal coronary arteries !

The moment normal CAG was  visualized  the consultant  concealed his momentary  surprise    and went on to say  it is classical case of syndrome  X   with severe micro- vascular disease causing ECG changes !

As  the patient did not give any opportunity to poke her coronaries   she was wheeled out of  wheeled out of cath lab.

Meanwhile ,  first year  fellow came rushing with the blood reports and biochemistry .

Is everything  alright ?   Yeh sir ,  except her Hb %  . . .  it is  5.6  Grams !

The bewildered  consultant *  realized   the  high  coronary drama , that is  been enacted  over the  past 2 hours !  and  learnt  (and taught) a most important  lesson to their fellows !

Hi guys , this is neither  a NSTEMI nor  a microvascular syndrome X  . . . this is simply anemia related  extreme  ECG changes !  We have erred in our reasoning and  our pre cath clinical scrutiny has  gone awry ! 

He went on to say  ,  don’t worry  many times medicine is learnt in  hard ways  . After all nothing adverse has  happened here .

The women was subsequently investigated and handed over to  gynecologist for a probable hysterectomy .

Final message

Please be reminded  , anemia  can produce  variety  of  ECG changes.  In extreme anemia  global ST depression is  common especially if  tachycardia is associated .

The lesson here  is ,  whenever  gross  ST depression is witnessed  with vague chest pain  check the hemoglobin first . This is an unusual story of a women  ,  with simple  anemia  (due to   chronic mennorhagia )   landed in cath table in an acute fashion .  Luckily  she  did not have any  incidental coronary  lesions  that prevented her becoming a  greater cath lab  victim !

* The bewildered consultant is none other than the author  of this blog.

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