Non-invasive magnetocardiography for the early diagnosis of coronary artery disease in patients presenting with acute chest pain

Circ J. 2010 Jul;74(7):1424-30. doi: 10.1253/circj.cj-09-0975. Epub 2010 May 27.


Background: Accurate identification of patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) is often difficult especially when an electrocardiogram (ECG) does not show typical elevation of ST segment. The aim of the present study was therefore to evaluate the efficacy of magnetocardiography (MCG) for diagnosis of ACS in patients with acute chest pain presenting without ST segment elevation.

Methods and results: In the present retrospective study 364 patients with the suspected ACS without ST segment elevation were selected. Significant coronary artery disease (CAD) was defined as a stenosis > or =50% in at least one of 16 segments of the 3 major coronary arteries and their branches. The MCG recordings were obtained at resting state using a 64-channel MCG system in a magnetically shielded room. The patients were classified on the basis of the probability distribution. The presence of significant CAD was identified with a sensitivity of 84.0% and a specificity of 85.0%, compared to 44.7% and 89.8% on ECG. In the subgroup of patients without specific findings on ECG or biomarker test, MCG had a sensitivity of 73.5% and a specificity of 82.3%.

Conclusions: MCG was acceptably sensitive and specific in identifying patients with ACS even in the absence of specific findings on ECG and positive biomarker tests. Thus, MCG seems beneficial for the early triage of patients with acute chest pain.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chest Pain / diagnosis*
  • Chest Pain / etiology
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Coronary Artery Disease / diagnosis*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / pathology
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetocardiography / methods*
  • Magnetocardiography / standards
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Triage