Detection of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is improved when using advanced rather than strictly conventional 12-lead electrocardiogram

Samara L. Poplack Potter, Fredrik Holmqvist, Pyotr Platonov, Katarina Steding Ehrenborg, Håkan Arheden, Olle Pahlm, Vito Starc, William J. McKenna, Todd T. Schlegel

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Introduction: Twelve-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) is used to screen for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), but up to 25% of HCM patients do not have distinctly abnormal ECGs, whereas up to 5% to 15% of healthy athletes do. We hypothesized that an approximately 5-minute resting advanced 12-lead ECG test ("A-ECG score") could detect HCM with greater sensitivity than pooled conventional ECG criteria and distinguish healthy athletes from HCM with greater specificity. Materials and methods: Five-minute 12-lead ECGs were obtained from 56 HCM patients, 56 age/sex-matched healthy controls, and 69 younger endurance-trained athletes. Electrocardiograms were analyzed using recently suggested pooled conventional ECG criteria and also A-ECG scoring techniques that considered results from multiple advanced and conventional ECG parameters. Results: Compared with pooled criteria from the strictly conventional ECG, an A-ECG logistic score incorporating results from just 3 advanced ECG parameters (spatial QRS-T angle, unexplained portion of QT variability, and T-wave principal component analysis ratio) increased the sensitivity of ECG for identifying HCM from 89% (78%-96%) to 98% (89%-100%; P = .025), while increasing specificity from 90% (83%-94%) to 95% (92%-99%; P = .020). Conclusions: Resting 12-lead A-ECG scores that are simultaneously more sensitive than pooled conventional ECG criteria for detecting HCM and more specific for distinguishing healthy athletes and other healthy controls from HCM can be constructed. Pending further prospective validation, such scores may lead to improved ECG-based screening for HCM. Published by Elsevier Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-718
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cardiac and Cardiovascular Systems

Free keywords

  • Sudden cardiac death
  • QRS-T angle
  • QT variability
  • Screening
  • Athletes' heart


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