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April 8, 1968

Evaluation of Standard ECG Leads for Mass Scanning

Author Affiliations

From the US Naval Hospital, Philadelphia.

JAMA. 1968;204(2):149-150. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140150053012

The accuracy in analysis of the six standard electrocardiographic leads for mass screening was evaluated from 2,000 randomly selected tracings. The ECGs were interpreted as normal or abnormal by generally accepted criteria without benefit of clinical history. Comparison with the full 12-lead ECG was made. Twelve hundred and sixteen (60.8%) were normal and 730 (36.5%) were abnormal. Twenty-six (3.44%) false-negative and 28 (2.25%) false-positive results occurred. The sensitivity and specificity of the method were 96.56% and 97.75%, respectively. The use of the standard ECG leads for mass screening is feasible for the following reasons: (1) It is a rapid technique necessitating no change in pattern or vector approaches to interpretation. (2) The patient need not be recumbent or undressed. (3) The accuracy compares favorably with that of 12-lead analysis. (4) The method is readily adaptable to computer interpretation.