Validation of electrocardiographic criteria for identifying left ventricular dysfunction in patients with previous myocardial infarction

Gopi Krishna Panicker, Dhiraj D. Narula, Christine M. Albert, Daniel C. Lee, Snehal Kothari, Jeffrey J. Goldberger, Nancy Cook, Andi Schaechter, Eunjung Kim, M. Vinayaga Moorthy, Julie Pester, Neal A. Chatterjee, Alan H. Kadish, Dilip R. Karnad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Eleven criteria correlating electrocardiogram (ECG) findings with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) have been previously published. These have not been compared head-to-head in a single study. We studied their value as a screening test to identify patients with reduced LVEF estimated by cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging. Methods: ECGs and CMR from 548 patients (age 61 + 11 years, 79% male) with previous myocardial infarction (MI), from the DETERMINE and PRE-DETERMINE studies, were analyzed. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of each criterion for identifying patients with LVEF ≤ 30% and ≤ 40% were studied. A useful screening test should have high sensitivity and NPV. Results: Mean LVEF was 40% (SD = 11%); 264 patients (48.2%) had LVEF ≤ 40%, and 96 patients (17.5%) had LVEF ≤ 30%. Six of 11 criteria were associated with a significant lower LVEF, but had poor sensitivity to identify LVEF ≤ 30% (range 2.1%–55.2%) or LVEF ≤ 40% (1.1%–51.1%); NPVs were good for LVEF ≤ 30% (range 82.8%–85.9%) but not for LVEF ≤ 40% (range 52.1%–60.6%). Goldberger's third criterion (RV4/SV4 < 1) and combinations of maximal QRS duration > 124 ms + either Goldberger's third criterion or Goldberger's first criterion (SV1 or SV2 + RV5 or RV6 ≥ 3.5 mV) had high specificity (95.4%–100%) for LVEF ≤ 40%, although seen in only 48 (8.8%) patients; predictive values were similar on subgroup analysis. Conclusions: None of the ECG criteria qualified as a good screening test. Three criteria had high specificity for LVEF ≤ 40%, although seen in < 9% of patients. Whether other ECG criteria can better identify LV dysfunction remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12812
JournalAnnals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • cardiac magnetic resonance imaging
  • coronary artery disease
  • electrocardiology
  • left ventricular ejection fraction
  • myocardial infarction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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