• Vol. 27 No. 6, 786–788
  • 15 November 1998

Goldberger’s Triad in Dilated Cardiomyopathy—Can it Predict the Severity of Left Ventricular Dysfunction?



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Goldberger’s triad is a specific, but relatively insensitive, electrocardiographic sign for dilated cardiomyopathy. To study the correlation between the presence of this sign and the severity of left ventricular dysfunction, the electrocardiograms and echocardiographically-determined left ventricular parameters of 17 patients (mean age 59.3 ± 11.8 years) with dilated cardiomyopathy were examined. Five of the patients had Goldberger’s triad. We found that the mean left atrial diameter, the mean left ventricular internal diameters (both end-systolic and end-diastolic) and the mean left ventricular ejection fraction of the group of patients with Goldberger’s triad did not differ significantly from the group without. Coronary angiography revealed occult coronary artery disease in 5 of 12 patients. A larger, prospective study is required to verify our finding.

In 1982, Goldberger described a novel electrocardiogram (ECG) triad that was highly specific for patients with dilated cardiomyopathy and congestive heart failure (attributable to various aetiologic factors), with a sensitivity of 70%, a specificity of 99%, and a positive predictive value of 91%. For unknown reasons, ventricular dilation causes the QRS vector to shift towards the transverse plane and away from the frontal plane, resulting in differential effects on QRS voltages in the chest and the limb leads.

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