A correlative study in 50 cases of healed myocardial infarction compared the 12 lead electrocardiogram with pathologic observations. The electrocardiogram was interpreted according to established Minnesota codes with some modifications. The following conclusions were reached: (1) The electrocardiogram underestimates the extent of myocardial infarction. (2) When a healed myocardial infarct at a specific location is recognized with electrocardiographic criteria, it is likely that there are unrecognized infarcts involving other areas of the left ventricle. (3) Infarctions involving the lateral and inferobasal areas are frequently unrecognized. (4) The electrocardiogram is more likely to miss myocardial infarcts in patients with multiple, than in those with single, electrocardiographically diagnosed infarcts. (5) Apical myocardial infarction does not appear to have specific electrocardiographic findings, other than those related to general infarct localization by electrocardiogram, particularly in patients with anteroseptal or anterolateral infarction. (6) Abnormal Q waves, generally thought to indicate transmural myocardial infarction, are frequently found in subendocardial infarction. (7) The simplified electrocardiographic classification of myocardial infarct site (anteroseptal, inferior, anterolateral) used in this study is preferable to more detailed classifications previously suggested by others.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
From the Department of Pathology, United Hospitals-Miller Division, St. Paul, Minnesota and the Departments of Pathology and Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. This study was supported by Public Health Service Research Grant 5 RDl HL 05694 from the National Heart,L ung, and Blood Institute. National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, and by the Saint Paul Foundation, St. Paul, Minnesota. Manuscript received May 25, 1978: revised manuscript received June 27, 1978, accepted June 28, 1978.