ECG Quiz 1: Osborn Waves

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Q: The above ECG shows which of the following?

1. Hypokaelemia
2. Hypercalcemia
3. Hypothermia
4. Hypermagnesemia

Answer: 3

Patients with systemic hypothermia may develop a distinctive ECG pattern in which a humplike elevation is usually localized to the junction of the end of the QRS complex and the beginning of the ST segment (J point). These pathologic J waves are sometimes called Osborn waves. This pattern disappears with rewarming. The basic mechanism of these prominent J waves appears to be related to the differential effects of systemic cooling on repolarization of different layers of the ventricles.

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