Acute myocardial infarction entailing ST-segment elevation in lead aVL: electrocardiographic differentiation among occlusion of the left anterior descending, first diagonal, and first obtuse marginal coronary arteries

Am Heart J. 1996 Jan;131(1):38-42. doi: 10.1016/s0002-8703(96)90048-4.


Acute myocardial infarction with ST elevation in lead aVL may represent involvement of the first diagonal or the first obtuse marginal branch. This study assesses the correlation among different electrocardiographic patterns of acute myocardial infarction with ST elevation in aVL and the site of the infarct-related artery occlusion. Patients who underwent coronary angiography within 14 days of infarction with an unequivocal culprit lesion were included. Fifty-seven patients were evaluated. The culprit lesion was in the left anterior descending coronary artery proximal to the first diagonal, first diagonal, and first obtuse marginal branches, in 38, 8, and 11 patients, respectively. ST elevation in aVL and V2 through V5 signifies left anterior descending artery occlusion proximal to the first diagonal branch (positive predictive value [PPV] and negative predictive value [NPV] of 95% and 94%, respectively). ST elevation in aVL and V2, not accompanied by ST elevation in V3 through V5, favors occlusion of the first diagonal branch (PPV, 89%; NPV, 100%). ST elevation in aVL accompanied by ST depression in V2 predicts obstruction of the first obtuse marginal branch (PPV, 100%; NPV, 98%).

MeSH terms

  • Cineradiography
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Coronary Disease / diagnostic imaging
  • Coronary Disease / pathology*
  • Coronary Disease / physiopathology
  • Coronary Vessels / pathology*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electrocardiography / instrumentation
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Electrodes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnostic imaging
  • Myocardial Infarction / pathology
  • Myocardial Infarction / physiopathology*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Single-Blind Method