What is the role of ECG in the workup of venous air embolism (VAE)?

Updated: Dec 30, 2017
  • Author: Brenda L Natal, MD, MPH; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Electrocardiography (ECG) has a low sensitivity for VAE detection. The findings closely resemble those seen with venous thromboembolism and include tachycardia, right ventricular strain pattern, and ST depression. Transient myocardial ischemia may also occur (severe bradycardia, ST elevation in inferior leads and ST depression in L1 and avL, observed 3 minutes post CVC removal (case report). [1, 37]


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