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AIMS: The conventional 12-lead electrocardiogram (cECG) derived from 10 electrodes using a cardiograph is the gold standard for diagnosing myocardial ischemia. This study tested the hypothesis that a new 5-electrode 12-lead vector-based ECG (EASI; Philips Medical Systems, formerly Hewlett Packard Co, Boeblingen, Germany) patient monitoring system is equivalent to cECG in diagnosing acute coronary syndromes (ACSs). METHODS: Electrocardiograms (EASI and cECG) were obtained in 203 patients with chest pain on admission and 4 to 8 hours later. Both types of ECGs were graded as ST-elevation myocardial infarction if at least 1 of the 2 consecutive recordings showed ST elevation more than 0.2 mV, as ACS if one or both showed ST elevation less than 0.2 mV, T-wave inversion, or ST depression. Otherwise, the ECG was graded negative. RESULTS: Final diagnosis was identical in 177 patients (87%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 82%-91%; kappa = 0.81; SE = 0.035). ST-elevation myocardial infarction was correctly identified or excluded by EASI with a specificity of 94% (95% CI, 89%-97%) and a sensitivity of 93% (95% CI, 86%-97%; using cECG as the gold standard). Of 118 patients with enzyme elevations, an almost identical number (72 [61% by EASI] and 73 [62% by cECG]) had ST elevations. Both techniques were equivalent in predicting subsequent enzyme elevation (identical, 108/143; 75% of ACS and ST-elevation myocardial infarction ECGs by EASI and cECG). Thus, both ECG methods had exactly the same specificity of 59% (95% CI, 48%-69%) and sensitivity of 91% (95% CI, 85%-96%) for detecting myocardial injury. CONCLUSION: EASI is equivalent to cECG for the diagnosis of myocardial ischemia.

Original publication




Journal article


J Electrocardiol

Publication Date





22 - 28


Chest Pain, Electrocardiography, Electrodes, Humans, Myocardial Ischemia, Prospective Studies, Reproducibility of Results