Pilot study analyzing automated ECG screening of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Matthew J. Campbell, Xuefu Zhou, Chia Han, Hedayat Abrishami, Gregory Webster, Christina Y. Miyake, Christopher T. Sower, Jeffrey B. Anderson, Timothy K. Knilans, Richard J. Czosek*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is one of the leading causes of sudden cardiac death in athletes. However, preparticipation ECG screening has often been criticized for failing to meet cost-effectiveness thresholds, in part because of high false-positive rates and the cost of ECG screening itself. Objective The purpose of this study was to assess the testing characteristics of an automated ECG algorithm designed to screen for HCM in a multi-institutional pediatric cohort. Methods ECGs from patients with HCM aged 12 to 20 years from 3 pediatric institutions were screened for ECG criteria for HCM using a previously described automated computer algorithm developed specifically for HCM ECG screening. The results were compared to a known healthy pediatric cohort. The studies then were read by trained electrophysiologists using standard ECG criteria and compared to the results of automated screening. Results One hundred twenty-eight ECGs from unique patients with phenotypic HCM were obtained and compared with 256 studies from healthy control patients matched in 2:1 fashion. When presented with the ECGs, the non–voltage-based algorithm resulted in 81.2% sensitivity and 90.7% specificity. A trained electrophysiologist read the same data according to the Seattle Criteria, with 71% sensitivity with 95.7% specificity. The sensitivity of screening as well as the components of the ECG screening itself varied by institution. Conclusion This pilot study demonstrates a potential for automated ECG screening algorithms to detect HCM with testing characteristics similar to that of a trained electrophysiologist. In addition, there appear to be differences in ECG characteristics between patient populations, which may account for the difficulties in universal screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-852
Number of pages5
JournalHeart rhythm
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • Adolescent
  • Athlete
  • Electrocardiography
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Screening
  • Sudden cardiac death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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