How common does right ventricular infarction complicate inferior myocardial infarction (MI), and how is it diagnosed?

Updated: May 07, 2019
  • Author: A Maziar Zafari, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA; Chief Editor: Eric H Yang, MD  more...
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Answer

Approximately one third of patients with inferior MI develop right ventricular infarction, which presents a special challenge because the adjunctive therapy, other than reperfusion, is somewhat different.

A right-sided electrocardiogram (ECG) with a more than 1-mm ST elevation in lead V3 R or V4 R describes a right ventricular infarction. An echocardiogram may be helpful in confirming the diagnosis.

On physical examination, signs of right-sided heart failure may be present, such as elevated jugular venous pulsation, right-sided S3, Kussmaul sign, or hypotension, but the patient may have clear lung fields.


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