They are usually observed in people suffering from hypothermia with a temperature of less than 32°C (90°F), though they may also occur in people with high blood levels of calcium (hypercalcemia), brain injury, vasospastic angina, or ventricular fibrillation and could also be a normal variant.
The prominent J deflection attributed to hypothermia was first reported in 1938 by Tomaszewski. These waves were then definitively described in 1953 by John J. Osborn (1917–2014) and were named in his honor. Over time, the wave has increasingly been referred to as a J wave, though is still sometimes referred to as the Osborn wave in most part due to Osborn's article in the American Journal of Physiology on experimental hypothermia.
- Aydin M, Gursurer M, Bayraktaroglu T, Kulah E, Onuk T (2005). "Prominent J wave (Osborn wave) with coincidental hypothermia in a 64-year-old woman". Tex Heart Inst J. 32 (1): 105. PMC 555838. PMID 15902836.
- Maruyama M, Kobayashi Y, Kodani E, et al. (2004). "Osborn waves: history and significance". Indian Pacing Electrophysiol J. 4 (1): 33–9. PMC 1501063. PMID 16943886.
- "ecg_6lead018.html". Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- "THE MERCK MANUAL OF GERIATRICS, Ch. 67, Hyperthermia and Hypothermia, Fig. 67-1". Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- Marx, John (2010). Rosen's emergency medicine: concepts and clinical practice 7th edition. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby/Elsevier. p. 1869. ISBN 978-0-323-05472-0.
- Osborn JJ. Experimental hypothermia: Respiratory and blood pH changes in relation to cardiac function. Am J Physiol 1953; 175: 389-398.
- Serafi S, Vliek C, Taremi M (2011) "Osborn waves in a hypothermic patient" The Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives http://www.jchimp.net/index.php/jchimp/article/view/10742/html