ECG leads aVR lead

What lead is the most overlooked on the ECG?

 Answer: aVR Lead

This lead can provide some unique insight into 5 different conditions:

  1. Acute MI
  2. Pericarditis
  3. Tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) and TCA-like overdose
  4. AVRT in narrow complex tachycardias
  5. Differentiating VT from SVT with aberrancy in wide complex tachycardias by using the Vereckei criteria (possibly better than Brugada criteria)

PV Card: The aVR Lead on ECG

Adapted from [1-4] Go to ALiEM (PV) Cards for more resources.

See also:


  1. Williamson K, Mattu A, Plautz C, Binder A, Brady W. Electrocardiographic applications of lead aVR. Am J Emerg Med. 2006;24(7):864-874. [PubMed]
  2. Vereckei A, Duray G, Szénási G, Altemose G, Miller J. New algorithm using only lead aVR for differential diagnosis of wide QRS complex tachycardia. Heart Rhythm. 2008;5(1):89-98. [PubMed]
  3. Kireyev D, Arkhipov M, Zador S, Paris J, Boden W. Clinical utility of aVR-The neglected electrocardiographic lead. Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol. 2010;15(2):175-180. [PubMed]
  4. Riera A, Ferreira C, Ferreira F, et al. Clinical value of lead aVR. Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol. 2011;16(3):295-302. [PubMed]
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at Bio:
Michelle Lin, MD