The prognostic value of the admission and predischarge electrocardiogram in acute coronary syndromes: the GUSTO-IIb ECG Core Laboratory experience.
BACKGROUND: Prior research suggests that patients may be entered into clinical trials with different electrocardiographic (ECG) findings than specified by study protocol criteria; the extent and impact of this variability in a large-scale trial have not been previously described. METHODS: We evaluated the relationship between case report form (CRF) categorization of the admission ECG and a Core Laboratory and subsequent outcome in a retrospective analysis of a trial of patients with acute ischemia and a broad spectrum of ECG changes (the GUSTO-IIb trial). RESULTS: In 11,037 patients with CRF information and an interpretable ECG, there was agreement in 89.1% of ST-elevation and 81.9% of non-ST-elevation cases. Among patients designated as having no ST elevation on the CRF, 1-year mortality rates were significantly higher in the subgroup of patients with Core Laboratory-determined ST elevation as compared with those where both the CRF and Core Laboratory classification were in agreement (8.8% vs 6.8%, P = .0093). Among patients designated as having ST elevation by the CRF, 1-year mortality rates were similar in both the subgroup of patients with and without Core Laboratory agreement (7.7% vs 8.2%, P = .72). CONCLUSIONS: These findings have important implications for clinicians in routine practice because even a simple evaluation (presence or absence of ST elevation) on the admission ECG was often discordant and was associated with adverse clinical outcome.
Goodman, SG; Fu, Y; Langer, A; Barr, A; Tan, M; Wagner, GS; Barbagelata, A; Sgarbossa, EB; Birnbaum, Y; Granger, CB; Califf, RM; Van de Werf, F; Topol, EJ; Armstrong, PW; GUSTO-IIb Investigators,
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