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March 25, 1968

Heart-Sound Screening in Children: Use of a Portable Analog-Digital Computer (Field Study-Los Angeles 1966)

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, and University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Dr. Durnin is now at the University of Iowa, College of Medicine, Iowa City.

JAMA. 1968;203(13):1113-1118. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140130025005

The heart sounds of 3,797 school children were analyzed by a new portable analog-digital computer. A small microphone and bipolar electrocardiographic timing leads are the only inputs required from the patient. Heart sounds are analyzed on a beat-by-beat basis. The data are displayed on digital counters and are recorded as within normal limits (WNL) or outside normal limits (ONL) of the computer's programmed analyzing circuitry. Eighteen percent of the 3,797 students were examined by pediatric cardiologists. Sixteen cases of heart disease and two cases of conduction disturbances were detected by the computer. Half of the heart disease cases were previously unknown. No known cases of heart disease were missed by the computer. The false-positive ratio was 5.6%. Immediate analysis of heart sounds offers advantages over the tape-recording method of screening.