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November 20, 1967

Auscultation of the Heart by Machine and by Physicians

Author Affiliations

From the Irvington House Institute and the Department of Medicine, New York University Medical School (Drs. Taranta and Spagnuolo). Dr. Ieri and Mr. Greenberg are research fellows of Irvington House Institute.

JAMA. 1967;202(8):703-705. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130210077012

An automatic screening device for auscultatory evidence of heart disease was tested on 308 children and adolescents who had previously had rheumatic fever. The device correctly recognized as abnormal 88.5% of 131 patients with rheumatic heart disease (RHD), and correctly recognized as normal 83.6% of 177 patients with no RHD. For purposes of comparison a cardiologist, an internist, and a senior medical student each listened while blindfolded to the heart sounds of three 100-patient subsets of the above population. The auscultation was limited to the areas used for the automatic screening. They correctly recognized as abnormal 97.9%, 94.5%, and 91.9% of the patients with RHD, and correctly recognized as normal 81.1%, 84.4%, and 85.7% of the patients without RHD.