Wellens' syndrome and other electrocardiographic changes in a patient with a left anterior descending artery subocclusion associated with a left main coronary artery subocclusion

Salvatore Patanè, Filippo Marte
International Journal of Cardiology 2011 September 1, 151 (2): e37-41
Changing axis deviation has been reported also during atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter. Changing axis deviation has been also reported during acute myocardial infarction associated with atrial fibrillation too or at the end of atrial fibrillation during acute myocardial infarction. Patients with unstable angina have a higher incidence of left main coronary artery (LMCA) and proximal left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery disease compared to patients with stable angina pectoris. In 1982, Wellens and colleagues described two electrocardiographic patterns that were predictive of critical narrowing of the proximal LAD artery, and were subsequently termed Wellens' syndrome. The criteria were: a) prior history of chest pain, b) little or no cardiac enzyme elevation, c) no pathologic precordial ST segment elevation, d) no loss of precordial R waves, and e) biphasic T waves in leads V2 and V3, or asymmetric, often deeply inverted T waves in leads V2 and V3. The ECG changes are best recognized outside the episode of anginal pain. Lead aVR and lead v1 ST segment elevation, during chest pain, has been reported in patients with LMCA disease with ST segment depression in leads V3, V4 and V5 (with maximal depression in V4).We present a case of changing axis deviation in a 37-year-old Italian man with a LAD coronary artery subocclusion associated with a LMCA subocclusion. This case focuses attention on the importance of the recognition of the patterns suspected for LAD coronary artery disease or for LMCA disease.

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