This ECG was submitted by Sebastian Garay, EMT-P and ECG Guru (and ECG Guru Member sebmedic). It is a very interesting case of wide complex tachycardia in a patient with Wolff-Parkinson-White.
This is from a 57 year old man who sought medical help for a complaint of palpitations. He was known to have WPW. The paramedics determined that he was hemodynamically unstable, and in light of the wide-complex tachycardia, they performed a synchronized cardioversion at 100 j. The patient converted to the rhythm shown in the next ECG. The paramedics then administered a Lidocaine bolus and drip, considering this to be a ventricular tachycardia. The patient arrived in the Emergency Dept in improved hemodynamic condition.
This ECG can be used to teach V Tach for beginner students, WPW and WCT tachycardia differential diagnosis for more advanced students. It is also a good ECG for axis discussion, and for how lead placement affects the final product.
The differential diagnosis here is 1) V Tach and 2) SVT with aberrant conduction or left ventricular conduction delay. For a discussion of ECG criteria which help us diagnose WCT, see the "Ask The Expert" column from Jan. 11, 2012. Characteristics that make this look like V Tach include: wide complex and significant left axis deviation. Features which may favor a diagnosis of SVT are the pre-existing WPW and a rate of 222/min. There are no p waves seen. NOTE: V2 in this ECG appears to reflect electrode mis-placement, as it does not "make sense" in the normal progression of the QRS complexes in the precordial leads. It is clearly "out of place".
The second ECG shows the same patient after conversion of the tachycardia. The delta waves of WPW are easily seen.