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Can your doctor correctly read a critical heart test?
Date:10/30/2008

ization is necessary to learn how to read an ECG," says Dr. Benitez. "The rules include such things as: what is the voltage in a particular lead or a combination of leads or what is the axis of the vector of this electrical signal?" Pattern recognition is also part of the learning process.

While the basic ECG technology was developed more than a hundred years ago, the field of ECG interpretation has become part of the high-tech revolution. Computers can make a preliminary interpretation of the ECG readout. But more often than not, says Dr. Benitez, the computer gets certain things wrong, such as the interpretation of rhythm abnormalities. "It does not usually under-call things like acute heart attack, but it does over-call them," he says. "Somehow our brains are better than computers in terms of the amalgamation of all the data that's required to read ECGs."


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Contact: Bill Seiler
bseiler@umm.edu
410-328-8919
University of Maryland Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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