A comparison of methods for the detection of myocardial ischemia during noncardiac surgery: automated ST-segment analysis systems, electrocardiography, and transesophageal echocardiography

Anesth Analg. 1992 Nov;75(5):764-72. doi: 10.1213/00000539-199211000-00020.


Clinicians often fail to detect intraoperative ischemic electrocardiographic (ECG) changes when viewing oscilloscopes. Automated ST-segment monitors promise to increase the detection of such ECG changes. We investigated the capacity of two commercially available ST-segment monitors to detect intraoperative myocardial ischemia in patients at high risk for developing intraoperative myocardial ischemia during vascular and other noncardiac procedures. The ST-segment monitors were compared with two reference monitors: (a) printed eight-lead ECGs, as interpreted by a cardiologist, and (b) the presence of segmental wall motion abnormalities and thickening abnormalities detected by transesophageal echocardiography (TEE). We also examined the capacity of the printed ECG to diagnose myocardial ischemia when compared with TEE. We studied 44 patients who underwent TEE, printed multilead ECG, oscilloscope monitoring of leads V5 and II, and measurement of ST-segment deviation from the baseline using an automated Hewlett Packard ST-segment device. The sensitivities for the Hewlett Packard system were 40% for TEE-diagnosed myocardial ischemia and 75% for ECG-diagnosed ischemia. Comparison of the printed ECG with TEE revealed that ST-segment changes in the printed ECG, as analyzed by a cardiologist, were 25% sensitive and 62% specific for the detection of TEE-diagnosed myocardial ischemia. When T-wave inversions were added to ST-segment depression as a criterion for the diagnosis of myocardial ischemia by the printed ECG, the sensitivity of ECG for the detection of intraoperative myocardial ischemia, as determined by TEE, was 40% and specificity was 58%. Twenty-three of the 44 patients were simultaneously monitored in leads I, II, and V5 with an automated Marquette ST-segment monitor.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Echocardiography*
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Myocardial Ischemia / diagnosis*
  • Reference Standards