Electrocardiographic Diagnosis of Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy in the Pre- and Post-Diagnostic Phases in Children and Adolescents

Circ J. 2021 Dec 24;86(1):118-127. doi: 10.1253/circj.CJ-21-0376. Epub 2021 Oct 6.


Background: The usefulness of electrocardiographic (ECG) voltage criteria for diagnosing hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in pediatric patients is poorly defined.Methods and Results:ECGs at the 1st grade (mean [±SD] age 6.6±0.3 years) were available for 11 patients diagnosed with HCM at around the 7th grade (13.2±0.3 years). ECGs were available for another 64 patients diagnosed with HCM in the 1st (n=15), 7th (n=32), and 10th (n=17) grades. Fifty-one voltage criteria were developed by grade and sex using 62,841 ECGs from the general population. Voltage criteria were set at the 99.95th percentile (1/2,000) point based on the estimated prevalence of childhood HCM (2.9 per 100,000 [1/34,483]) to decrease false negatives. Conventional criteria were from guidelines for school-aged children in Japan. Of 11 patients before diagnosis, 2 satisfied conventional criteria in 1st grade; 5 (56%) of the remaining 9 patients fulfilled 2 voltage criteria (R wave in limb-lead I [RI]+S wave in lead V3 [SV3] and R wave in lead V3 [RV3]+SV3). Robustness analysis for sensitivity showed RV3+SV3 was superior to RI+SV3. For all patients after diagnosis, RI+SV4 was the main candidate. However, conventional criteria were more useful than voltage criteria.

Conclusions: Early HCM prediction was possible using RV3+SV3 in >50% of patients in 1st grade. Voltage criteria may help diagnose prediagnostic or early HCM, and prevent tragic accidents, although further prospective studies are required.

Keywords: Children; Diagnosis; Electrocardiography; Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy; Prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic* / diagnosis
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Prospective Studies