An electrocardiogram (EKG) gauges electrical activity of a heartbeat. A CT scan utilizes X-rays to capture clear, comprehensive images of the heart.
A Henry Ford Hospital study claims that the electrical measurements on the EKG may frequently delude physicians in detecting the heart condition left ventricular hypertrophy. This could increase the chances of undergoing other screening tests before forming a definitive conclusion.
The study of around 500 patients discovered an incorrect positive reading between 77 and 82% in patients screened by electrocardiogram, and a wrong negative reading between 6% to 7% in the same patient population.
The electrocardiogram apparently also displayed a high negative predictive reading, which could mirror the nonattendance of left ventricular hypertrophy. Physicians apparently depend on numerous electrocardiogram measurements for detecting the heart condition.
The experts supposedly assessed the electrocardiogram data against coronary CT scans taken of patients. CT scans are believed to be extremely precise for detecting left ventricular hypertrophy, or LVH.
Mohamad Sinno, M.D., cardiology fellow at Henry Ford Hospital and lead author of the study, commented, “The EKG criteria for diagnosing left ventricular hypertrophy have a very poor sensitivity. So when the EKG shows left ventricular hypertrophy, it doesn’t allow the physician to make an accurate assessment, and further screening tools such as cardiac CT, MRI scan, or an echocardiogram are warranted.”
LVH is said to be a condition in which the lower-left chamber of the heart apparently grows unusually thick. This condition is apparently suffered by more than 16% of the adult population in the United States. LVH is thought to be caused by a fundamental medical condition, usually high blood pressure, but it regularly does not exhibit symptoms until later in the disease process.
If left untreated, LVH may be an independent forecaster for upcoming unfavorable cardiovascular disease like heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, arrythmias and death.