A reference data base for multilead electrocardiographic computer measurement programs

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1987 Dec;10(6):1313-21. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(87)80136-5.


In an effort to standardize and evaluate the performance of electrocardiographic computer measurement programs, a 15 lead reference library has been developed based on simultaneously recorded standard 12 lead and orthogonal XYZ lead data. A set of 250 electrocardiograms (ECGs) with selected abnormalities was analyzed by a group of five referee cardiologists and 11 different 12 lead and 6 XYZ computer programs. Attention was focused on the exact determination of the onsets and offsets of P, QRS and T waves. The referees performed their task on highly amplified, selected complexes from the library in a two round process. Median results of the referees coincided best with the median derived from all programs. An analysis of stability proved that the combined program median was a robust reference. However, some individual program results were widely divergent. Paired t tests demonstrated earlier onset for P and QRS (p less than 0.001), as well as later offset for P and T waves in the median 12 lead than in the XYZ results. Significant differences also existed among results obtained by programs analyzing all standard ECG leads at one time, the so-called multilead programs, and those obtained by the conventional standard three lead analysis programs. As a consequence, the derived P, PR, QRS and QT interval measurements varied quite widely among the various programs. Significant differences were also observed among measurements of Q, R and S duration. Some programs showed Q waves that were on the average 6 ms (p less than 0.001) longer than those of others. This may significantly influence diagnostic performance.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electrocardiography*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted*
  • Information Systems*
  • Software