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Year : 2000  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 74-77

Diagnosis of congestive heart failure (chf): Any role for electrocardiograph (ecg):

Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin, PM.B. 1515, Ilorin, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O G Opadijo
Department of Medicine, University of Ilorin, PM.B. 1515, Ilorin
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background and Objective: Electrocardiogram (ECG) is an old cardiologic tool used in the diagnosis of and screening of patients with suspected cardiac lesion. Its usefulness in the diagnosis of cardiac arrythmias.-is second to none. However, its application in the screening and management of patients with congestive cardiac failure (CCF) has been a subject of controversy. This study was therefore carried out with the aim of looking at the sensitivitv · and specificity of 12-lead electrocardiogram with the view to recommend it as a .first line screening tool in the of patients with heart failure. Subject and Method : Two hundred and seven patients referred from peripheral ho.\pitals to our unit hy the general practitioners (GP) for cardiologyevaluation were examil1ed clinically fqr features of heart failure. Every patient had ECG tracing recorded and chest radiograph done. Those with clinical and radiologic evidence of heart failure had echocardiogram done on them. Results: Eighty-seven (42.0%) has echocardiographical proven CCF with 82 (94.3%) of these having very significant ECG abnormalities and none with normal ECG Of the 120 patients without CCF, 108 (90.0%) and very significant f ECG abnormalities with 3(2.5%) minor and 9(7.5% ) normal ECG. Thus ECG showed 94.3% sensitivity but 10% specificitv. Conclusion: Even though ECG showed a poor ,specificity, a normal ECG, from this study, rules out CCF Hence there is a place for ECG as a first line screening tool in CCF

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