What is the significance of electrical alternans in the diagnosis of acute pericarditis?

Updated: Apr 02, 2019
  • Author: Sean Spangler, MD; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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Answer

Electrical alternans is pathognomonic of cardiac tamponade and is characterized by alternating levels of ECG voltage of the P wave, QRS complex, and T waves. This is a result of the heart swinging in a large effusion.


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