Diagnostic accuracy of ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction by various healthcare providers.
Int J Cardiol. 2014 Nov 6;177(3):825-829
Authors: Huitema AA, Zhu T, Alemayehu M, Lavi S
BACKGROUND: This study aimed to compare the accuracy of ECG interpretation for diagnosis of STEMI by different groups of healthcare professionals involved in the STEMI program at our institution.
METHODS: We selected 21 ECGs from patients with typical symptoms of MI that were diagnosed with STEMI, and 10 ECGs of STEMI mimics. STEMI mimic ECGs were repeated in the package with a story of typical and atypical chest pain. ECGs were interpreted to diagnose STEMI and identify need for initiation of the cardiac catheterization lab (CCL). Participants identified confidence in STEMI recognition, and average number of ECGs read per week.
RESULTS: A total of 64 participants completed the study package. Cardiologists were more likely to provide correct interpretation compared to other groups. False positive diagnoses were more likely made by paramedics when compared to cardiologists (p<0.01). There was a positive correlation between increased exposure to ECGs and accurate STEMI diagnosis (r=0.482, p<0.001). A threshold of ≥20 ECGs read per week showed a statistically significant improvement in accuracy (p<0.001). Self-reported confidence correlated positively with accuracy (r=0.402, p=<0.001). Changing the ECG narrative of the STEMI mimic ECGs had a significant effect on interpretation between groups (p=0.043).
CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that healthcare profession and number of ECGs reviewed per week are predictive of the accuracy of ECG interpretation of STEMI. Cardiologists are the most accurate diagnosticians, and are the least likely to falsely activate the CCL. Weekly exposure of ≥20 ECGs may improve diagnostic accuracy regardless of underlying experience.
PMID: 25465827 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]