Causes of prehospital misinterpretations of ST elevation myocardial infarction

Bosson, N. et al. (2017) Causes of prehospital misinterpretations of ST elevation myocardial infarction. Prehospital Emergency Care, 21(3), pp. 283-290. (doi: 10.1080/10903127.2016.1247200) (PMID:27858506)

132593.pdf - Accepted Version



Objectives: To determine the causes of software misinterpretation of ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) compared to clinically identified STEMI to identify opportunities to improve prehospital STEMI identification. Methods: We compared ECGs acquired from July 2011 through June 2012 using the LIFEPAK 15 on adult patients transported by the Los Angeles Fire Department. Cases included patients ≥18 years who received a prehospital ECG. Software interpretation of the ECG (STEMI or not) was compared with data in the regional EMS registry to classify the interpretation as true positive (TP), true negative (TN), false positive (FP), or false negative (FN). For cases where classification was not possible using registry data, 3 blinded cardiologists interpreted the ECG. Each discordance was subsequently reviewed to determine the likely cause of misclassification. The cardiologists independently reviewed a sample of these discordant ECGs and the causes of misclassification were updated in an iterative fashion. Results: Of 44,611 cases, 50% were male (median age 65; inter-quartile range 52–80). Cases were classified as 482 (1.1%) TP, 711 (1.6%) FP, 43371 (97.2%) TN, and 47 (0.11%) FN. Of the 711 classified as FP, 126 (18%) were considered appropriate for, though did not undergo, emergent coronary angiography, because the ECG showed definite (52 cases) or borderline (65 cases) ischemic ST elevation, a STEMI equivalent (5 cases) or ST-elevation due to vasospasm (4 cases). The sensitivity was 92.8% [95% CI 90.6, 94.7%] and the specificity 98.7% [95% CI 98.6, 98.8%]. The leading causes of FP were ECG artifact (20%), early repolarization (16%), probable pericarditis/myocarditis (13%), indeterminate (12%), left ventricular hypertrophy (8%), and right bundle branch block (5%). There were 18 additional reasons for FP interpretation (<4% each). The leading causes of FN were borderline ST-segment elevations less than the algorithm threshold (40%) and tall T waves reducing the ST/T ratio below threshold (15%). There were 11 additional reasons for FN interpretation occurring ≤3 times each. Conclusion: The leading causes of FP automated interpretation of STEMI were ECG artifact and non-ischemic causes of ST-segment elevation. FN were rare and were related to ST-segment elevation or ST/T ratio that did not meet the software algorithm threshold.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Macfarlane, Professor Peter
Authors: Bosson, N., Sanko, S., Stickney, R. E., Niemann, J., French, W. J., Jollis, J. G., Kontos, M. C., Taylor, T. G., Macfarlane, P. W., Tadeo, R., Koenig, W., and Eckstein, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Cardiovascular & Metabolic Health
Journal Name:Prehospital Emergency Care
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN (Online):1545-0066
Published Online:18 November 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 Taylor and Francis
First Published:First published in Prehospital Emergency Care 21(3):283-290
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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