Background: The value of magnetocardiography (MCG) for the detection of cardiac electrical disturbances associated with myocardial ischemia was studied.
Methods: Sensitivity and predictivity of admission MCG for the presence of coronary artery disease (CAD) were prospectively evaluated in 264 consecutive patients presenting with acute chest pain and without ST-segment elevation. MCG findings were compared with 12-lead ECG, echocardiography (ECHO), and troponin-I in a head-to-head design. Coronary angiography was used for CAD diagnosis.
Results: The visual assessment of magnetocardiograms by the experienced reader (R1) was superior to that by the unexperienced reader (R2) and superior to the automated computer analysis. Specificity and positive predictive value of MCG by R1 were comparable with those of ECG and troponin-I (>90%), while ECHO specificity and ECHO positive predictive value were lower (76.2% and 87.9%, respectively). Sensitivity and negative predictive value of MCG were twice as high as those in the ECG, troponin-I, and ECHO tests.
Conclusion: For the prediction of CAD in patients presenting with acute chest pain and without ST-segment elevation, an admission MCG test was superior to an admission ECG, ECHO, and troponin-I. The results of the study, however, are applicable only to a highly selected population comprising patients in whom immediate coronary angiography can be performed based on their clinical course in the hospital.