Is anterior ST depression with acute transmural inferior infarction due to posterior infarction? A vectorcardiographic and scintigraphic study

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1984 Jul;4(1):28-34. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(84)80314-9.


The hypothesis that anterior ST segment depression represents concomitant posterior infarction was tested in 49 patients admitted with a first transmural inferior myocardial infarction. Anterior ST depression was defined as 0.1 mV or more ST depression in leads V1, V2 or V3 on an electrocardiogram recorded within 18 hours of infarction. Serial vectorcardiograms and technetium pyrophosphate scans were obtained. Eighty percent of the patients (39 of 49) had anterior ST depression. Of these 39 patients, 34% fulfilled vectorcardiographic criteria for posterior infarction, and 60% had pyrophosphate scanning evidence of posterior infarction. Early anterior ST depression was neither highly sensitive (84%) nor specific (20%) for the detection of posterior infarction as defined by pyrophosphate imaging. Of patients with persistent anterior ST depression (greater than 72 hours), 87% had posterior infarction detected by pyrophosphate scan. In patients with inferior myocardial infarction, vectorcardiographic evidence of posterior infarction correlated poorly with pyrophosphate imaging data. Right ventricular infarction was present on pyrophosphate imaging in 40% of patients with pyrophosphate changes of posterior infarction but without vectorcardiographic evidence of posterior infarction. It is concluded that: 1) the majority of patients with acute inferior myocardial infarction have anterior ST segment depression; 2) early anterior ST segment depression in such patients is not a specific marker for posterior infarction; and 3) standard vectorcardiographic criteria for transmural posterior infarction may be inaccurate in patients with concomitant transmural inferior myocardial infarction or right ventricular infarction, or both.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Diphosphates
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Female
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Technetium
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pyrophosphate
  • Vectorcardiography*


  • Diphosphates
  • Technetium Tc 99m Pyrophosphate
  • Technetium