Evaluation of T-Wave Morphology in Patients With Left Bundle Branch Block and Suspected Acute Coronary Syndrome.


T-wave morphology in the setting of left bundle branch block (LBBB) has been proposed as an indicator of myocardial ischemia.We sought to identify T-wave morphology findings in patients with LBBB that predict non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). We hypothesized that two or more contiguous leads with concordant T waves would be predictive of NSTEMI.This was a retrospective cohort study performed by chart review in a tertiary care center emergency department. We identified a consecutive cohort who presented with LBBB and symptoms consistent with acute coronary syndrome. Exclusion criteria were diastolic blood pressure > 120 mm Hg, heart rate > 130 beats/min, positive pressure ventilation, potassium > 5.5 mEq/L, and cardiac arrest without prearrest electrocardiogram (ECG) available. We collected ECGs and classified T waves into five categories based on morphology, blinded to clinical outcome. Clinical outcome data were collected blinded to ECG findings. Those with ECG diagnostic of STEMI by modified Sgarbossa criteria were excluded from the primary analysis, which was sensitivity and specificity of two or more contiguous leads with concordant T waves for NSTEMI.There were 246 patients included. Mean age was 73 years; 160 (65%) were female, and 32 had myocardial infarction. Thirty percent had two or more contiguous precordial leads with partially or completely concordant T waves. For NSTEMI, the sensitivity and specificity of this finding were 19% (95% confidence interval [CI] 8-37) and 68% (95% CI 61-74).We found no clinically useful relationship between T-wave concordance and myocardial infarction in our patient population. Future investigation of LBBB T-wave morphology should focus on alternative populations and findings.





Published Version (Please cite this version)


Publication Info

Meyers, H Pendell, Elias Jaffa, Stephen W Smith, Weiying Drake and Alexander T Limkakeng (2016). Evaluation of T-Wave Morphology in Patients With Left Bundle Branch Block and Suspected Acute Coronary Syndrome. The Journal of emergency medicine, 51(3). 10.1016/j.jemermed.2016.05.004 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/16693.

This is constructed from limited available data and may be imprecise. To cite this article, please review & use the official citation provided by the journal.



Alexander Tan Limkakeng

Professor of Emergency Medicine

Dr. Alexander T. Limkakeng, Jr., MD, MHSc, FACEP is a Professor of Emergency Medicine, Vice Chair of Clinical Research, Director of the Acute Care Research Team, and Director of the Resident Research Fellowship for the Department of Emergency Medicine in the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.

Dr. Limkakeng has served as chair of the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) Research Committee, and been the Course Director of the ACEP Research Forum from 2016-2018, the largest emergency medical research platform in the nation. He is also the Assistant Director of ACEP’s Emergency Medicine Basic Research Skills course. He was elected to the Nominating Committee of the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine.

As a researcher, Dr. Limkakeng has led multiple clinical trials and interdepartmental sponsored projects and is author on over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts. These include studies in emergency conditions such as COVID-19, traumatic brain injury, hypertension, heart failure, thrombosis, stroke, envenomations, and septic shock. His research has been funded by grants and contracts totaling over $9 million dollars. He has lectured internationally on acute coronary syndrome, responsible conduct of research, design of clinical trials, and precision medicine in emergency care. He has led Duke’s involvement in NIH-funded research networks and in industry-funded work that led to FDA approval for multiple high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays and point-of-care COVID-19 diagnostic tests. He has servesd as Co-PI for the Duke U24 Hub in the NIH Early Phase Pain Investigation Clinical Network (EPPIC-Net) (1U24NS114416) and now serves as a co-PI on the Duke U24 Hub award (1U24NS129498) in the NIH Strategies to Innovate Emergency Care Clinical Trials (SIREN) Network and in the NIH NINDS Strokenet network (1U24NS135250)

His personal research interest is finding new ways to diagnose acute coronary syndrome. In particular, he is interested in novel biomarkers and precision medicine approaches to this problem. The common element throughout this work is a focus on time-sensitive health conditions.

Unless otherwise indicated, scholarly articles published by Duke faculty members are made available here with a CC-BY-NC (Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial) license, as enabled by the Duke Open Access Policy. If you wish to use the materials in ways not already permitted under CC-BY-NC, please consult the copyright owner. Other materials are made available here through the author’s grant of a non-exclusive license to make their work openly accessible.