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August 10, 1940

The Electrocardiogram in Congenital Cardiac Disease: A Study of 109 Cases, 106 with Autopsy

Author Affiliations

By Maurice A. Schnitker, B.Sc., M.D., Associate Attending Physician, Toledo Hospital, Toledo, Ohio. Cloth. Price, $3. Pp. 147, with illustrations. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press; London: Oxford University Press, 1940.

JAMA. 1940;115(6):482-483. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810320062032

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The author has assembled 106 cases of congenital heart disease with electrocardiograms of his own and from the literature in which the congenital lesions were proved at necropsy. These cases are subdivided into several categories to determine the value of the electrocardiogram in such lesions. The results are summarized in the last chapter and it is concluded that most congenital lesions do not give a specific electrocardiographic curve. Group specificity was found only in congenital heart block, in dextrocardia with reversed chambers and in tricuspid valvular disease, particularly tricuspid stenosis. Usually it is impossible to tell from the electrocardiogram whether the heart has a congenital or an acquired cardiac defect. Among his conclusions are the following: A marked right ventricular preponderance suggests a congenital lesion; 36 per cent of the 106 cases assembled showed this. However, 21 per cent showed a left ventricular preponderance. Marked right ventricular preponderance is seen

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