A novel ECG-based method can help save more lives and is poised to revolutionize inpatient and outpatient settings.
Bad Segeberg, 8 October 2010 – The best chances to survive a myocardial infarction is when diagnosis is performed as fast and as early as possible, enabling proper treatment to be initiated promptly. Up until now, ECG represented the best method for such fast and early diagnosis. According to Prof. Gert Richardt, Medical Director at the Heart Centre in Bad Segeberg, however, „the classical ECG recorder, an electrical cardiograph, can only detect around 30% of all myocardial infarctions. Even state-of-the-art blood tests for myocardial infarction may not reveal problems until after a delay of up to several hours. Mere belief in ECG and other methods can lead to fatal consequences,“ he notes. Now, cardiologists working under Prof. Richardt at the Heart Centre have conducted a research study on 200 patients with sudden-onset angina who they examined using a new method. The results were astonishing: „This new method reveals hidden myocardial infarctions and their prestages with an over 70% sensitivity,“ Prof. Richardt stated.
The research study focused on a new electrocardiographic method – cardiogoniometry, or CGM for short. CGM is an innovative
new type of electrocardiography that performs all the necessary measurements within a few seconds and analyses them automatically on a mobile computer. Richardt: „Cardiogoniometry is easy to use, gentle on the patient, fast and – most of all – accurate. This method allows physicians to treat their patients faster and more accurately, and ultimately, save lives.“
To perform a CGM, the physician attaches electrodes to the patient‘s body like an ECG, but with significantly fewer electrodes. CGM provides a spatial, three-dimensional recording of the heart‘s electrical activity that is much more accurate than that produced by conventional ECG. Using this method, the physician can immediately detect a myocardial infarction along with any other perfusion disorders of the heart.Just recently, Richardt and his team together with the other heart centres involved in this nationwide study presented their results at the Cardiology Congress in Stockholm. Now, speculation has been sparked that CGM may revolutionise inpatient and outpatient settings. Richardt: „I could imagine that CGM will offer physicians in private practice and primary care an important decision-making tool. That is the Setting where fast-track decisions are made as to whether a patient needs to be admitted to hospital directly in order to receive the proper care.“ In the emergency sector, he could also imagine that CGM would enable better diagnostics for cardiological emergencies. Thereby, cardiac emergency patients could be transferred more effectively to the appropriate clinic. According to data published by the German Federal Statistical Office, every day, 10,000 people with a presumed myocardial infarction are admitted to hospitals in Germany. Every year, nearly 400,000 men and women die of coronary artery disease, as many as 65,000 of them from a heart attack. That means that death by acute cardiovascular failure continues to be the most common cause of death. Our cardiovascular centre can diagnose and treat all heart and vessel diseases. It is the largest heart centre in the state of Schleswig-Holstein and has three main departments: Cardiology and Angiology, Cardiovascular Surgery and Cardiac Rehabilitation.
That way, our patients receive comprehensive treatment ranging from diagnostics and interventional and surgical therapy to rehabilitation – all under one roof. What‘s so special about our therapy concept? It is holistic. Not only cardiologists and heart surgeons, but also psychologists, specialists in psychosomatic medicine and physiotherapy work at individualising the therapeutic strategy for each patient right from the start of treatment.
Years of experience bring safety and confidence The 40 physicians working in our Department of Cardiology and Angiology treat over 10,000 patients a year. With their expertise and skills in state-of-the-art diagnostics, these specialists ensure the proper safety during peripheral vessel, left- and right-heart catheter examinations. The targeted treatment of cardiovascular diseases is made possible by electrophysiological examinations for diagnosing cardiac dysrhythmias and by ultrasound diagnostics for the cardiological sector (colour Doppler, stress echocardiography).
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