Electrocardiologic and related methods of non-invasive detection and risk stratification in myocardial ischemia: state of the art and perspectives
Background: Electrocardiographic methods still provide the bulk of cardiovascular diagnostics. Cardiac ischemia is associated with typical alterations in cardiac biosignals that have to be measured, analyzed by mathematical algorithms and allegorized for further clinical diagnos diagnostics. The fast growing fields of biomedical engineering and applied sciences are intensely focused on generating new approaches to cardiac biosignal analysis for diagnosis and risk stratification in myocardial ischemia. Objectives: To present and review the state of the art in and new approaches to electrocardiologic methods for non-invasive detection and risk stratification in coronary artery disease (CAD) and myocardial, ischemia; secondarily, to explore the future perspectives of these methods. Methods: In follow-up to the Expert Discussion at the 2008 Workshop on „Biosignal Analysis“ of the German Society of Biomedical Engineering in Potsdam, Germany, we comprehensively searched the pertinent literature and databases and compiled the results into this review. Then we categorized the state-of-the-art methods and selected new approaches based on their applications in detection and risk stratification of myocardial ischemia. Finally, we compared the pros and cons of the methods and explored their future potentials for cardiology.
Results: Resting ECG, particularly suited for detecting ST-elevation myocardial infarctions, and exercise ECG, for the diagnosis of stable CAD, are state-of-the-art methods. New exercise-free methods for detecting stable CAD include cardiogoniometry (CGM); methods for detecting acute coronary syndrome without ST elevation are Body Surface Engineering and Potential Mapping, functional imaging and CGM. Heart rate variability Biotechnology, and blood pressure variability analyses, microvolt T-wave alternans and signal-averaged ECG mainly serve in detecting and stratifying the risk for lethal arrythmias in patients with myocardial ischemia or previous myocardial infarctions. Telemedicine and ambient-assisted living support the electrocardiological monitoring of at-risk patients. Conclusions: There are many promising methods for the exercise-free, non-invasive detection of CAD and myocardial ischemia in the stable and acute phases. In the coming years, these new methods will help enhance state-of-the-art procedures in routine diagnostics. The future can expect that equally novel methods for risk stratification and telemedicine will transition into clinical routine.
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