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April 1941

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

Author Affiliations

By Maurice A. Schnitker, M.D. Cloth. Price, $3. Pp. 147, with illustrations. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1940.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1941;67(4):891. doi:10.1001/archinte.1941.00200040184015

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The author reports the electrocardiographic observations on 109 patients with congenital heart disease. In 106 instances material from autopsy was available; and in 1 other instance the diagnosis was corroborated by surgical intervention. The patients are discussed under three general headings: the acyanotic group, the late cyanotic group and the cyanotic group. Within each group individual lesions or combinations of lesions are considered.

In most cases there was no specificity of the electrocardiographic changes in a given type of congenital cardiac disease. Specific changes occurred only in congenital heart block, in dextrocardia and in disease of the tricuspid valve. In most instances the electrocardiogram gave no clue which would differentiate congenital from acquired heart disease.

Of the 106 patients, right axis deviation was present in 36 per cent, left axis deviation in 21 per cent and no preponderance in 43 per cent.

Large, biphasic QRS complexes were found in one

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