News | November 10, 2008

Philips' 16-Lead ECG Algorithm Technology May Help Diagnose Hidden Myocardial Infarction

November 11, 2008 - Royal Philips Electronics today unveiled a new PageWriter TC70 cardiograph technology to help improve detection and identification of problems in the heart, including specific coronary artery obstructions, damaged heart muscle and abnormal rhythms at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2008.

The PageWriter TC70, featuring Philips' DXL 16-lead ECG algorithm, may help clinicians deliver faster diagnosis and treatment during heart attacks, while also supporting door-to-balloon and hospital quality initiatives, the company said.

While limb and chest leads have been traditional components of the 12-lead ECG, it has long been recognized that additional electrodes can provide information that is poorly or not seen at all on a traditional 12-lead ECG. The standard 12-lead ECG has a blind spot on the right side of the patient's chest that limits the ability to detect right ventricular myocardial infarction (MI). Philips' new DXL algorithm technology addresses this issue by using electrodes placed on the right side to provide incremental capabilities not available with previous analysis programs.

"We're using right chest and posterior leads and see true patient benefits by diagnosing a hidden MI that we may not have picked up with a 12-lead ECG," said Debbie Heinecke, RN, manager of non-invasive cardiology at Blessing Hospital in Quincy, IL, an early user of the new technology.

According to the AHA, one in three female adults in the U.S. has some form of cardiovascular disease and all cardiovascular diseases combined claim the lives of more than 400,000 American women annually - greater than all forms of cancer combined. Women often present cardiac symptoms differently from men and have a higher mortality rate from cardiovascular disease.

Philips said the DXL algorithm applies new gender, age and lead-specific STEMI (ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction) criteria to detect acute MI in women as well as men. A widespread pattern of ST depression often reflects global ischemia due to left main coronary obstruction, multi-vessel obstructions, or microvascular disease, which is more prevalent in women. The DXL algorithm incorporates new criteria for these conditions and provides a Critical Value of "global ischemia" to highlight that prompt intervention may be needed. The new algorithm also builds upon Philips' use of gender and age-specific criteria left ventricular hypertrophy and prolonged QT interval.

The PageWriter TC70 cardiograph reportedly improves workflow and enables faster clinical decision making. The company said ECG reports are quickly taken and transferred to the TraceMasterVue ECG management system with the click of a button. Bedside decision-making is enhanced with the automatic retrieval of the previous ECG, allowing for immediate clinical serial comparison.

The new PageWriter TC70 includes technologies that are especially useful in the emergency department, where ECG reports can highlight test results that may warrant immediate clinical attention.

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