Objectives: This study was performed to determine electrocardiographic (ECG) features that could distinguish first diagonal branch occlusion from left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion.
Background: The ECG findings associated with first diagonal branch obstruction have not previously been compared with those of left anterior descending coronary artery obstruction.
Methods: The ECG findings in 34 patients with isolated diagonal branch occlusion (group 9) were compared with those in 20 patients with occlusion at site 6 (group 6) and 20 with occlusion at site 7 (group 7), according to American Heart Association classification. This study had a power > 80% to detect a 50% difference between groups at a probability value of 0.05.
Results: ST segment elevation was observed in leads I and aVL for all group 9 patients, in 80% (p < 0.05) of group 6 patients for lead I and 90% for lead aVL and in 50% (p < 0.01) of group 7 patients for lead I and 55% (p < 0.01) for lead aVL. Similarly, there was a higher incidence of abnormal Q waves and inverted T waves in leads I and aVL in group 9 than in groups 6 and 7. In contrast, group 9 showed a significantly lower incidence of ST segment elevation (3.4%), abnormal Q waves (3.0%) and inverted T waves (0%) in lead V1 than group 6 (80%, 40% and 90%, respectively) and group 7 (75%, 60% and 70%, respectively) (p < 0.01 for each). Multivariate analysis revealed that abnormalities in leads I and aVL, combined with a normal lead V1 (and V6), provided good criteria for distinguishing isolated diagonal branch occlusion from left anterior descending coronary artery occlusion.
Conclusions: Isolated diagonal branch occlusion more frequently caused ECG abnormalities in leads I and aVL and less frequently caused changes in the precordial leads compared with left anterior descending coronary artery obstruction, indicating that leads I and aVL represent myocardium perfused by the diagonal branch.