Document Detail

Recent progress in the electrocardiographic diagnosis of ventricular hypertrophy.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2961447     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The surface electrocardiogram remains an insensitive method for detection of ventricular hypertrophy. Technical problems related to body size and habitus and distance from the heart cannot be overcome. Coronary arterty disease and amyloidosis, although frequently associated with hypertrophy, tend to obscure the electrocardiographic changes because of the attendant loss of voltage. The progress made in the last 20 years is due primarily to re-evaluation of traditional criteria in terms of careful anatomic correlation. The studies cited have the advantage of using specific clinical diagnoses in a defined population, specific chamber weights, and a 97.5 percentile confidence level for distinguishing normal pathologic and electrocardiographic data from abnormal. They are limited because the results may not apply to females or patients with mitral stenosis and congenital heart disease. In general, the electrocardiogram can be expected to detect left ventricular hypertrophy in six out of ten patients with the disease, and will misdiagnose the problem in about one out of every ten without the disease. Methodology using multiple criteria will achieve the best sensitivity and specificity. Several methods are available and of comparable accuracy. Simplicity of these methods varies widely and will be a factor in the choice of the method selected. The electrocardiogram will perform best in the population of patients with hypertension and aortic stenosis or regurgitation and have its greatest limitation in patients with coronary artery disease and myocardial infarctions. Echocardiography is proven to be more sensitive than the electrocardiogram for detection of left ventricular hypertrophy. Sensitivity is around 90 per cent with 95 per cent specificity. Its major limitations lie in the expense as compared to the electrocardiogram and in inadequate image resolution in a small proportion of patients. In order to achieve the results reported by centers proficient in this technique, careful attention must be paid to precise standardization of measurements and selection of images to be measured. When this is done the echocardiogram certainly offers a distinct advantage over the electrocardiogram in detecting left ventricular hypertrophy. We recommend the use of left atrial abnormality as a criterion to diagnose left ventricular hypertrophy when there is right bundle branch block. When left bundle branch block is present on the electrocardiogram, traditional criteria are probably no more accurate than the bundle branch block itself.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
S W Hutchins; M L Murphy; H Dinh
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Cardiology clinics     Volume:  5     ISSN:  0733-8651     ISO Abbreviation:  Cardiol Clin     Publication Date:  1987 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1988-02-11     Completed Date:  1988-02-11     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8300331     Medline TA:  Cardiol Clin     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  455-68     Citation Subset:  IM    
Division of Cardiology, John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital, Little Rock, Arkansas.
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MeSH Terms
Bundle-Branch Block / diagnosis
Cardiomegaly / diagnosis*

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