Improved sex-specific criteria of left ventricular hypertrophy for clinical and computer interpretation of electrocardiograms: validation with autopsy findings.
In a previous study of 543 patients we developed, using echocardiographic left ventricular mass as the reference standard, two new sets of criteria that improve the electrocardiographic diagnosis of left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). One set of criteria, which is suitable for routine clinical use, detects LVH when the sum of voltage in RaVL + SV3 (Cornell voltage) exceeds 2.8 mV in men and 2.0 mV in women. The second set of criteria, suitable for use in interpretation of the computerized electrocardiogram, uses logistic regression models based on electrocardiographic and demographic variables with independent predictive value for LVH, with separate equations for patients in sinus rhythm and atrial fibrillation. To test these criteria prospectively with use of a different reference standard, antemortem electrocardiograms were compared with left ventricular muscle mass measured at autopsy in 135 patients. Sensitivity of standard Sokolow-Lyon voltage (SLV) criteria (SV1 + RV5 or RV6 greater than 3.5 mV) for LVH was only 22%, but specificity was 100%. The Cornell voltage criteria improved sensitivity to 42%, while maintaining high specificity at 96%. Higher sensitivity (62%) was achieved by use of the new regression criteria, with a specificity of 92%. Overall test accuracy was 60% for SLV criteria, 68% for the Cornell voltage criteria, and 77% for the new regression criteria (p less than .005 vs SLV). We conclude that the Cornell voltage criteria improve the sensitivity of the electrocardiogram for detection of LVH and are easily applicable in clinical practice.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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