Validation of the modified Sgarbossa criteria for acute coronary occlusion in the setting of left bundle branch block: A retrospective case-control study

Am Heart J. 2015 Dec;170(6):1255-64. doi: 10.1016/j.ahj.2015.09.005. Epub 2015 Sep 24.


Background: The modified Sgarbossa criteria were proposed in a derivation study to be superior to the original criteria for diagnosing acute coronary occlusion (ACO) in left bundle branch block (LBBB). The new rule replaces the third criterion (5 mm of excessively discordant ST elevation [STE]) with a proportion (at least 1 mm STE and STE/S wave ≤-0.25). We sought to validate the modified criteria.

Methods: This retrospective case-control study was performed by chart review in 2 tertiary care center emergency departments (EDs) and 1 regional referral center. A billing database was used at 1 site to identify all ED patients with LBBB and ischemic symptoms between May 2009 and June 2012. In addition, all 3 sites identified LBBB ACO patients who underwent emergent catheterization. We measured QRS amplitude and J-point deviation in all leads, blinded to outcomes. Acute coronary occlusion was determined by angiographic findings and cardiac biomarker levels, which were collected blinded to electrocardiograms. Diagnostic statistics of each rule were calculated and compared using McNemar's test.

Results: Our consecutive cohort search identified 258 patients: 9 had ACO, and 249 were controls. Among the 3 sites, an additional 36 cases of ACO were identified, for a total of 45 ACO cases and 249 controls. The modified criteria were significantly more sensitive than the original weighted criteria (80% vs 49%, P < .001) and unweighted criteria (80% vs 56%, P < .001). Specificity of the modified criteria was not statistically different from the original weighted criteria (99% vs 100%, P = .5) but was significantly greater than the original unweighted criteria (99% vs 94%, P = .004).

Conclusions: The modified Sgarbossa criteria were superior to the original criteria for identifying ACO in LBBB.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Coronary Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Acute Coronary Syndrome* / etiology
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bundle-Branch Block* / complications
  • Bundle-Branch Block* / diagnosis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Occlusion / complications*
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity