ECG machines may give a printed report saying ***ACUTE MI***. In a retrospective study, patients on the ICU whose 12 lead ECGs contained this electronic interpretation did not have an elevated troponin 85% of the time. Even in the minority of patients whose electronic ECG diagnosis of MI was agreed with by a cardiologist, only one third developed an elevated troponin.
The authors state ‘In contrast to nonintensive care unit patients who present with chest pain, the electrocardiographic ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction diagnosis seems to be a nonspecific finding in the intensive care unit that is frequently the result of a variety of nonischaemic processes. The vast majority of such patients do not have frank ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction.’
Electrocardiographic ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction in critically ill patients: An observational cohort analysis
Crit Care Med. 2010 Dec;38(12):2304-230