ST depression

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ST depression may occur in ischaemic heart disease:

  • indicates myocardial ischaemia, and may be associated with the discomfort of angina
  • rest leads to a reversal
  • it is not a sign of infarction

Other causes of ST depression include (1):

  • biochemical causes
    • hypokalaemia
    • hypocalcaemia
    • hypomagnesaemia
  • digoxin
    • glycosides can produce ST depression in the electrocardiogram, both in patients with cardiac disease and in healthy individuals.and in healthy individuals
    • the ST depression that may secondary to cardiac glycoside use complicates the interpretation of rest and exercise electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • left ventricular hypertrophy
  • hypothermia
  • stroke (especially subarachnoid haemorrhage)

Click here for example ECG and further information


  1. Hoffman I, Saltzman B. Is ATP-sensitive K+ channel (K+ATP) recruitment a common mechanism for ECG-ST segment depression and elevation? Medical Hypotheses 2003; 60(4): 593-597.

Last reviewed 01/2018