Identifying acute myocardial infarction in ventricular-paced patients: A case report on the effectiveness of modified Sgarbossa criteria.

Screening for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) in patients with ventricular pacemakers (VP) is a diagnostic challenge. We report a case where application of the Modified Sgarbossa criteria (mSC) would have immediately identified AMI in a patient with a VP and merited strong advocacy for emergent cardiac catheterization. A 94-year-old male with VP presented to the emergency department (ED) after he had burning sensation in his chest. Initial ECG demonstrated >5 mm of discordant ST elevation in leads III and aVF which gave him 2 points per original Sgarbossa Criteria (oSC) and not meeting criteria for activation for cardiac catheterization. An ECG at three and a half hours after arrival demonstrated a dynamic change with new V2 concordant depression. At this point, the concordant depression (3 points) and excessive discordance (2 points) gave him a total of 5 points, which then met the oSC for activation of cardiac catheterization (≥ 3 points). Troponin I value (ng/mL) at 0/2/4 h after ED arrival are 0.02, 0.08 and 4.33 respectively. Pain never recurred after single nitroglycerine (NTG) tablet upon arrival. He was urgently taken for catheterization and had acute right coronary artery (RCA) culprit lesion and discharged on hospital day 4. This case report highlighted the benefits of applying mSC to patients with VP, which to authors knowledge remains unvalidated. A significant benefit of mSC is that they are unweighted, thus any positive criteria is suggestive of AMI. While the first EKG yielded an oSC score <3, applying the unweighted mSC to the EKG revealed ≤-0.25 ST/S ratio discordant changes in leads III, aVF, I and aVL would have merited strong advocacy for emergent cardiac catherization.

as reported in: Newson JM, Sefa N, Berger DA. Am J Emerg Med. 2020 Dec doi: S0735-6757(20)31099-8.