Please help! What does minimal ST depression in inferior leads mean on an ECG?

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My mother is 60 years old and went to the ER for chest discomfort. They did blood work to check the heart enzymes, which came back fine, and this ECG which stated "minimal ST depression in inferior leads" and that it was abnormal. She has a stress test and an echocardiogram June 2nd. Can anyone offer some insight? Is this always a serious matter? My mom is making herself sick over it. Her anxiety is through the roof, and her doctor isn't helping too much with info. image

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  • Edited

    I just looked it up, seems it can range from insufficient blood supply due to partial blockage, through less worrisome conditions such as Variant Angina, and even less such as Hyperventilating and even poor contact of the ECG pads, with lots of other causes such as side effects to drugs.

    I do not imagine therefore you can hope for a definitive answer here as even a doctor would surely need much more to go on, which might be the reason her own doctor hasn't committed himself to an answer yet.

    The fact that the blood works were fine I think rules out even a minor heart attack, and that they sent her home means they are not that immediately concerned, so I would try to comfort your mother by saying they wouldn't have sent her home if it was that serious, might just be a touch of Angina or something, lets wait as worrying about something that is a possibility might make it more likely to occur, especially if it is something like Variant Angina which I get when stressed but just ignore it.

    (My opinion is purely through just doing a Google search, maybe health professionals here can offer more insight?)

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    You can't know yet what it means, but do know that a good number of women, myself included, have what they call false positive stress tests. I regularly have an S-T depression in the inferior leads. Some women have this. I have been through a battery of tests, including a stress echo and my heart is fine. I just happen to have this variant. Again, I can't tell you if you mother simply has this variant or if there is something else going on, but maybe it will help her to know that it is possible that she, too, simply has this variant.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for taking the time to reply! It has helped my mom to relax a bit knowing others also have had this and that they are doing well. I appreciate you sharing your experience.

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  • Edited

    Firstly, tell your mum that getting anxious over this will not help her at all. I am 66 and I have significant heart disease. My ECGs have shown ST segment depression on some occasions and yet, on other occasions it does not show up. I was told it was nothing to worry about, I was concerned because I thought it was associated with the congenital heart defect I have, but I

    was told it has no association to that. I have no coronary disease, but I have had hypertension,

    which is controlled, for 30 years. I also suffer from occasional bouts of atrial fibrillation and may need a pacemaker at some point in time for brady-tachy sydrome which developed after I

    suffered a heart attack back in October 2019, which wasn't due to any blockage, but rather it was associated with LUPUS (an autoimmune condition)I currently am afflicted with a flare, most likely stress related. The fact that your mum's ecg showed only minimal is not as worrisome as it would be if it were more than minimal. Variants are tricky categorizations, every MI I've had has been attributed to LUPUS vasospasm induced variant, because this disorder in and of itself creates an inflammatory state. She's getting the right tests, if there is anything serious , it will show. Trust me on that. Good luck to her.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for reply! I will relay the message to her. Hopefully this will help her relax more. I greatly appreciate it, and I hope you're doing better now.

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  • Posted


    It depends on what it is.

    Is it inversive T or S-T depression, and how much.

    Do You have the ECG to mail here?


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