Electrocardiographic manifestations: pulmonary embolism

J Emerg Med. 2001 Oct;21(3):263-70. doi: 10.1016/s0736-4679(01)00389-4.


The electrocardiographic findings associated with pulmonary embolism have been well described in the medical literature for over 50 years. These abnormalities include changes in rhythm, QRS axis, and morphology, particularly in the QRS and T waves. Such findings may reflect hemodynamic changes, such as right heart strain, as well as myocardial ischemia associated with the disease. Although certain findings may correlate with the severity of pulmonary embolism, the overall utility of the electrocardiogram is limited due to the variable presence, frequency, and transient nature of most of the abnormalities associated with the disease.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Embolism / diagnosis*
  • Pulmonary Embolism / physiopathology