It is difficult to determine if a patient with a left bundle branch block (LBBB) has an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) because ST segments are “appropriately discordant” with the terminal portion of the QRS. That means if the QRS complex is negative (or downgoing), the ST segment normally will be positive (or elevated). Similarly if the QRS complex is positive (or upgoing), the ST segment will be negative (or depressed).

PV Card: Sgarbossa’s Criteria

In 1996, Sgarbossa et al looked through the GUSTO-1 trial patients with LBBB and AMI. They derived 3 criteria which may help diagnose the “hidden” AMI. The criteria are:

1. ST elevation ≥ 1 mm concordant with QRS complex (most predictive of AMI of the 3 criteria)
2. ST depression ≥ 1 mm in lead V1, V2, or V3
3. ST elevation ≥ 5 mm where discordant with QRS complex

Use these criteria with caution though. None of these criteria are perfect. They are to help you risk-stratify. For instance, criteria #3 (ST elevation ≥ 5 mm) can exist in asymptomatic patients with LBBB because of concurrent left ventricular hypertrophy and high voltages.

Sgarbossa's Criteria


Thanks to Tom Bouthillet at ems12lead.com for the useful illustration above.


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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 https://t.co/50EapJORCa Bio: https://t.co/7v7cgJqNEn
Michelle Lin, MD