Critical analysis of the signal-averaged electrocardiogram. Improved identification of late potentials.
BACKGROUND This study performed a critical analysis of signal-averaging methods. The objective was to optimize detection of late potentials.
METHODS AND RESULTS We studied two patient populations: a low-arrhythmia-risk group with no evidence of heart disease and a group with clinically documented ventricular tachycardia (VT). Filtered QRS duration (QRSD) and terminal QRS amplitude (RMS40) were measured from the vector magnitude. A QRS duration based on the latest detectable ventricular activity in any of the three individual XYZ leads was also measured. Because of improved signal-to-noise ratio, both individual lead analysis and extended (600-versus 200-beat) averaging yielded significant changes in signal-averaged ECG parameters. Both approaches gave an increased sensitivity for VT identification. Sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy were evaluated as functions of critical values of QRSD and RMS40. RMS measurements in the terminal QRS, ranging from 20 to 100 msec and including RMS40, did not contribute to maximizing sensitivity and were highly correlated with QRSD. Our results from the low-arrhythmia-risk group suggest that age and sex should be considered in the definition of late potentials.
CONCLUSIONS We propose a VT risk stratification scheme using signal-averaged ECG parameters obtained from both individual lead and vector magnitude analysis. This allows definition of four categories of VT risk derived statistically from the study data. This definition is based on combined measures of sensitivity, specificity, and negative and positive predictive value.
- Copyright © 1993 by American Heart Association