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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What does this mean to the average joe ?

In simple terms what is a non specific, introventricular conduction delay, with leftward axis and QRS complex ? Any doctors out there or interns ? What does this mean to the average joe ? Thanks
Wed, 16 Dec 2009
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The EKG is a graphical representation of electrical impulse wave moving through the heart - think of having a sharpie marker attached to a buoy floating in some body of water - a wave goes by, moves the pen making a representational two-dimensional mark on a piece of paper. Now you have a three dimensional event (a wave moving a buoy), represented by a two-dimensional mark. So this is in essence what an EKG does - it measures the rate, size, and direction that the electrical impulse as it spreads through the heart. All of the different tracings are just views coming from another direction (pens attached to all four sides and the top of the buoy, if you will) Now that you have a basis to understand what an EKG does -lets define specifically that read out. introventricular conduction delay - The ventricle is the lower part of the heart. Intro = within. Conduction delay is something that inhibits the electrical impulse from moving as rapidly as it would be expected. Nonspecific - related to a noted difference that does not fit a pattern of a known disorder. It may look similiar to something but does not deflect enough or in as many leads as necessary to meet a certain strict criteria. Leftward axis - It is expected that the tracing will deflect in a certain manner. When it deflected in a different manner the two dimensional representation "leans" to the left or right under certain criteria. It means that the impulse is traveling through the heart rather than top right to bottom left, top middle or top left to bottom right. It can indicate certain things (like cardiac injury) or nothing (normal variant). It is highly dependent on the context. ORS complex is the largest deflection on the EKG. It is a graphical representation the ventricle depolarizing (contracting) as the left ventricle is the most muscular part of the heart and therefore generates the largest electrical impulse. Does this mean anything serious? I doubt it, but as I mentioned it depends on the context. If these finding are new - that is, there are other EKG tracings without the above findings, then yes, it does mean something. If it is just a read out on a first time EKG with no specific symptoms or positive lab studies, it probably means nothing. I hope that helps. Good luck.
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