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The electrocardiograph has definitely established itself as an invaluable aid in the diagnosis of the arrhythmias. In this respect, it is universally admitted that it is superior to the polygraph. As a rule, electrocardiographic tracings give us a clear-cut picture of the mechanism of the heart, the spread of the excitation wave and the presence or absence of an abnormal rhythm.
The additional data made available through electrocardiographic studies can be applied clinically with great advantage to both the patient and the physician. With this additional knowledge that the electrocardiograph has placed in the hands of the physician, he is able in most instances to make the correct diagnosis of an arrhythmia by physical examination alone. Nevertheless, when any question arises regarding the precise mechanism of the heart, the electrocardiograph becomes the court of last resort.
Within the last few years, as the result of innumerable tracings and the researches
BLOEDORN WA, ROBERTS LJ. THE VALUE OF THE ELECTROCARDIOGRAPH IN PROGNOSIS. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1923;32(5):718-726. doi:10.1001/archinte.1923.00110230074007