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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Electrocardiographic markers of ischemia during mental stress testing in postinfarction patients. Role of body surface mapping.

In patients with coronary artery disease, radionuclide investigations have documented a high incidence of mental stress-induced myocardial ischemia in the absence of significant electrocardiographic changes and/or angina. To investigate the causes of the low electrocardiographic sensitivity, we recorded body surface maps during mental arithmetic in 22 normal volunteers and 37 postinfarction patients with residual exercise ischemia. Myocardial perfusion was studied with thallium-201 or technetium-99 (SESTAMIBI) planar scans. In 14 patients, body surface maps were also recorded during atrial pacing at the heart rate values achieved during mental stress. While taking the body surface maps, the area from J point to 80 msec after this point (ST-80) was analyzed by integral maps, difference maps, and departure maps (the difference between each patient's difference map and the mean difference map for normal subjects). The body surface mapping criteria for ischemia were a new negative area on the integral maps, a negative potential of more than 2 SD from mean normal values on the difference maps, and a negative departure index of more than 2. Scintigraphy showed asymptomatic myocardial hypoperfusion in 33 patients. Eight patients had significant ST segment depression. The ST-80 integral and difference maps identified 17 ischemic patients. Twenty-four patients presented abnormal departure maps. One patient presented ST depression and abnormal body surface maps without reversible tracer defect. In 14 of 14 patients, atrial pacing did not reproduce the body surface map abnormalities. The analyses of the other electrocardiographic variables showed that in patients with mental stress-induced perfusion defects, only changes of T apex-T offset (aT-eT) interval in Frank leads and changes of maximum negative potential value of aT-eT integral maps significantly differed from those of normal subjects. Our results confirm the low electrocardiographic sensitivity for detecting mental stress-induced myocardial hypoperfusion in postinfarction patients. ST analysis in the body surface map increases the information content of the electrocardiographic signal. T wave analysis appears to offer fewer diagnostic advantages.[1]


  1. Electrocardiographic markers of ischemia during mental stress testing in postinfarction patients. Role of body surface mapping. Bosimini, E., Galli, M., Guagliumi, G., Giubbini, R., Tavazzi, L. Circulation (1991) [Pubmed]
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