The Accuracy of an Out-of-Hospital 12-Lead ECG for the Detection of ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction Immediately After Resuscitation
Severe myocardial ischemia is the leading cause of arrhythmic sudden cardiac death. It is unclear, however, in which percentage of patients sudden cardiac death is triggered by ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and whether the diagnosis of STEMI can be reliably established immediately after resuscitation from out-of-hospital sudden cardiac death.
A 12-lead ECG was registered after return of spontaneous circulation after cardiac arrest. After hospital admission, further ECG, creatine kinase MB, and troponin measures; results of coronary angiograms; and autopsies were evaluated to confirm the definitive diagnosis of STEMI.
Seventy-seven patients were included in our study (67% men, age 64 [14 to 93] years). STEMI was diagnosed in 44 patients. The diagnosis of myocardial infarction was confirmed in 84% of the 77 patients who survived to hospital admission. The sensitivity of the out-of-hospital ECG was 88% (95% confidence interval [CI] 74% to 96%), the specificity 69% (95% CI 51% to 83%), the positive predictive value 77% (95% CI 62% to 87%), and the negative predictive value 83% (95% CI 64% to 87%). The accuracy of the out-of-hospital ECG and that registered on admission was the same.
The diagnosis of STEMI can be established in the field immediately after return of spontaneous circulation in most patients. This may enable an early decision about reperfusion therapy, ie, immediate out-ofhospital thrombolysis or targeted transfer for percutaneous coronary intervention. [Ann Emerg Med. 2008;52:658-664.]