Polarcardiographic analysis by automated digital minicomputer.

G E Dower, D Berghofer, H E Missler, H. Bastos Machado


Polarcardiographic criteria for myocardial infarction were established using an analogic computer and human readers. The sensitivity for revealing old myocardial infarction was found to be 37% greater than for ECG, with a false positive rate of less than 5%. The introduction of digital minicomputers, performing electronic measurements and vector analysis, allowed to process a daily large number of electrocardiologic tests as a routine clinical service (Woodward ECG Computer System). In the present study, the performance of the computer program in applying the polarcardiographic criteria for myocardial infarction was matched with that previously applied by human readers. Using the coronary-ventriculography as a golden standard, there were no significant differences in the specificity and the sensitivity was 51 % for human readers versus 53 % for the computer; when combined, both the computer and the cardiologist’s overread, the sensitivity was increased to 61 %. Using the new computer expanded diagnostic criteria, the sensitivity was 61%, and was raised to 67% with combined overreading. The sensitivities and the specificities obtained when the computer diagnosis and visual interpretations are combined, are those that apply to the Woodward ECG Computer System in daily use.

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