Evaluation of criteria for diagnosis of myocardial infarction: study of 256 patients with intermittent left bundle branch block

Chest. 1979 May;75(5):575-8. doi: 10.1378/chest.75.5.575.


In an attempt to elucidate the specificity and sensitivity of atypical findings during left bundle branch block (LBBB) with respect to myocardial infarction (MI), we analyzed ECGs from patients with intermittent LBBB obtained by mail solicitation of cardiologists. The group consisted of 256 patient files fulfilling the following criteria: 1) complete LBBB present on one or more 12-lead ECGs, and 2) at leat one 12-lead ECG taken subsequent to a LBBB tracing exhibiting absence of LBBB (non-LBBB). The sensitivity of atypical LBBB for predicting presence of MI was 0.41, the specificity 0.64, and the accuracy 0.59. No specific atypical finding was significantly better than any other in predicting MI. We conclude that atypical findings present during LBBB are of little value in predicting the presence of MI (as diagnosed by significant Q waves present during non-LBBB conduction).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bundle-Branch Block / diagnosis
  • Bundle-Branch Block / etiology*
  • Diagnostic Errors
  • Electrocardiography
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / complications
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis*