What Is the Significance of “septal Infarct, Age Undetermined” in an ECG?

A finding of “septal infarct, age undetermined,” on an electrocardiogram means the patient may have suffered a myocardial infarction, more commonly known as a heart attack, at some undetermined time in the past, according to the Clinical Exercise Physiology Consortium. However, this finding can also be due to incorrect placement of the electrodes on the chest during the examination, and a second ECG should be performed to confirm the finding.

Septal infarcts cause QS waves to occur in V1 and V2, explains the Clinical Exercise Physiology Consortium. In addition to septal infarcts and incorrect ECG technique, lung diseases and abnormalities of intraventricular conduction can also cause QS waves in V1 and V2. Some people have myocardial infarctions without suffering any symptoms, states Mayo Clinic. Other people attribute their symptoms to indigestion or influenza. The only way to detect these silent heart attacks is by observing a septal infarct pattern on an ECG.

An ECG is used to measure the electrical signals generated by the heart as it contracts, notes MedicineNet. Damage to the heart muscle from a prior myocardial infarction can affect the way the heart contracts, which can then be identified on the ECG. A typical ECG takes only five minutes to perform. Electrodes are placed on the chest and attached to a monitor. The health professional observes the pattern on the monitor and interprets the results.