Pediatric ECG Interpretation An Illustrative Guide
Pattern recognition is an important learning tool in the interpretation of electrocardiograms (ECGs). Pediatric practitioners generally receive limited exposure to reading ECGs until faced with a patient with an arrhythmia or structural heart disease. The ability to clearly distinguish an abnormal ECG pattern from a normal variant in an emergency situation is an essential skill, but one that many physicians feel ill-prepared to confidently utilize. This atlas is directed at medical students, housestaff, and practitioners with limited background in pediatric cardiology.
In this atlas, author illustrated many of the ECG patterns a pediatric practitioner is likely to encounter. Normal variations of ECGs in children of different ages are presented, followed by examples of ECG abnormalities such as ventricular hypertrophy and atrial enlargement.
ECGs of common forms of acquired heart disease are presented, followed by typical ECG examples of congenital heart disease. Arrhythmias are presented in sections on bradycardia and supraventricular and ventricular tachycardia, with a basic section on pacemaker ECGs.
Simple techniques used to interpret mechanisms of arrhythmias are described, as the nonspecialist in cardiology or electrophysiology may not have a readily accessible resource for these ECG examples.
Pattern recognition in ECG interpretation is not intended to replace an understanding of the genesis of the ECG, but to complement the basic skills of ECG interpretation. Thus, the reader of this atlas is presumed to have mastered one
of the many excellent texts on the basics of ECG interpretation.
This Pediatric ECG Interpretation An Illustrative Guide atlas relies on previously accepted norms for interpretation of pediatric ECGs.6 Other ECG norms obtained using computer-automated voltage amplitudes at sampling rates higher than in older ECG machines have been recently published.
These data suggest some gender and ethnic variations in pediatric ECG norms likely exist, and may provide the basis for establishing new standards for abnormal values.