NOVACODE serial ECG classification system for clinical trials and epidemiologic studies

J Electrocardiol. 1992;24 Suppl:179-87. doi: 10.1016/s0022-0736(10)80041-x.


Traditional serial electrocardiogram (ECG) change classification schemes used in clinical trials such as the Minnesota Code rely on independent classification of the baseline and each follow-up or acute event ECG, whereby graded changes in the hierarchic severity level of the code signify new events such as myocardial infarction (MI). This approach suffers from classification errors caused by repeated instability at decision boundaries at each step when the baseline and each acute event ECG is classified, and various "verification rules" must be used at the end of the coding process to prevent trivial serial changes from causing large transitions in coded events. The NOVACODE algorithms for visual and computer coding of serial ECGs were designed to alleviate some of these instability problems by quantifying changes in critical waveform patterns on a continuous scale. This is achieved by determining, for each ECG coded, a Q-QS Score, ST Depression Score, ST Elevation Score and T-Wave Score, each ranging from 0 to 50. In the next step, a score is derived for ST-T evolution and this ST-T Evolution Score together with changes in Q-QS Score define criteria for a hierarchic mutually exclusive serial ECG change classification scheme that includes coding categories for Q-wave and non-Q wave MIs, equivocal Q wave evolution, evolving ischemic ST-T abnormalities, and various combinations of nonevolving Q-QS wave, and ST-T abnormalities.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Electrocardiography / classification*
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*