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July 23, 1982

Echocardiography knocking at physician's office door

JAMA. 1982;248(4):411-412. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330040011009

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Echocardiography, a decades-old method of monitoring cardiac function by analyzing ultrasound reflections from the heart's surfaces, recently has been modernized and soon may be added to the arsenal of office diagnostic tools for coronary artery disease (CAD) because of its high reliability, low cost, and noninvasive mode, reports a Wright State University group in Dayton, Ohio.

"The electrocardiogram, while a valuable test, is often suggestive rather than diagnostic," says Chandler A. Phillips, MD, an associate professor of engineering and physiology and director of the university's Biomedical Engineering Program since 1975. But with the addition to electrocardiographic techniques of an inexpensive computer easily adapted to the physician's office, for the first time accurate information on the dynamic physical changes of the left ventricular wall during the entire cardiac cycle can be obtained noninvasively, he says.

Phillips and his associate, Jerrold S. Petrofsky, PhD, used a minicomputer programmed with a mathematical model