What is the role of ECG in the workup of heroin toxicity?

Updated: Dec 16, 2018
  • Author: Rania Habal, MD; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Answer

An electrocardiogram (ECG) may show abnormalities in rhythm and rate, which are rare in pure opioid overdoses but common with toxicity from some co-ingestants and adulterants of street drugs. An ECG may also reveal evidence of myocardial ischemia.

Echocardiography is indicated if endocarditis is suspected. An echocardiogram may also help diagnose acute pulmonary hypertension secondary to embolic disease.


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