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August 12, 1939

THE CLINICAL VALUE OF THE ELECTROCARDIOGRAMAN ANALYSIS OF 100 PRIVATE CASES

JAMA. 1939;113(7):576-579. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800320028007
Abstract

Inevitably, whenever a new procedure of diagnosis or therapy is developed or gains rapid popularity, the pendulum swings too far and the procedure is apt to be employed in clinical practice beyond its indications. This appears to be true of electrocardiography, which recently has rapidly advanced the ability to interpret damage to the heart, especially that variety which accompanies disease of the coronary vascular system. There is a tendency today to rely too much on the electrocardiogram for the final interpretation of the condition of the heart at the expense of a careful history and an accurate clinical examination of the patient. The fault is less applicable to the cardiologist than to the general practitioner. In many places this trend has gone so far that surgeons require a routine preoperative tracing, believing incorrectly that it will by itself establish the margin of cardiac safety before operation. Eventually this overswing will

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