The nature of residency is looking up the same information again and again until it sticks in your head. Reading ECGs takes practice and one needs to develop a systematic way to read them. As a senior resident now, I find it really fun teaching interns ECGs! So I compiled many of the resources I’ve read about ECGs into a simple one-page rapid interpretation pdf!
- It is organized roughly how one would typically read an ECG. EKG cheat sheet pdf hits the major points in the order that you might present to an attending:
- Axis deviation
- Hypertrophy (atrial, ventricle)
- Intervals (PR, QRS, QT), segments
- Myocardial ischemia/infarction
- Futura typeface for style and readability and because Wes Anderson is partial to it
- Half-fold design to fit a doctor’s white coat
- Many common things I look up are included (ie. interval lengths, QT lengths)
- In particular, I found many people confused about the criteria for diagnosing ischemia and infarction, Q waves, and T wave inversions. So I defined those and gave examples.
- Of note, many resources claim different definitions/criteria to diagnose certain parts of the ECG (ie. LVH). I chose what appeared to be the most common and the easiest for myself to remember.
- 7/3/2015: Added QTc prolongation lengths for males and females, changed some letter casing
- 9/23/2015: Added the definitions for STEMI and NSTEMI.
- 7/18/2016: Rearranged sections. Added R wave. Added RBB. Added sources.
- 5/24/2018: Updated QTc intervals
- ECG tutorials on UpToDate (Basic principles of ECG analysis, Myocardial ischemia and infarction)
- Making Sense of the ECG by Houghton
- Pocket Medicine by Sabatine
- Third Universal Definition of Myocardial Infarction by Thygesen et al