Artificial Intelligence Improves Heart Attack Diagnosis

September 11, 1997

DALLAS, Sept. 16 -- Drawing on artificial intelligence technology, researchers have for the first time found that machines show promise of improving on human's ability to diagnose heart attacks, according to a study in today's American Heart Association journal Circulation.

Called "artificial neural networks," the computer-based method was more accurate than the cardiologist in reading the electrocardiogram (ECG), a test used to diagnose heart attacks in patients seen for chest pain in hospital emergency departments. The study was reported by Lars Edenbrandt, M.D., Ph.D., and co-author Bo Heden, M.D., Ph.D., of the University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.

"The neural networks performed higher than an experienced cardiologist, indicating that they may be useful as decision support," says Edenbrandt, a consultant in the department of clinical physiology at the University Hospital.

Neural networks are designed to "think" like humans, drawing knowledge and decision-making capabilities through experience. To teach a neural network how to recognize heart attacks, researchers exposed the computer memory to thousands of electrocardiogram readings, "more than any cardiologist could possibly read in a lifetime," notes Edenbrandt.

In the study researchers included 1,120 ECG records of people with heart attacks and 10,452 ECGs records that were normal. The neural networks were found to be 10 percent better at identifying abnormal ECGs than the most experienced cardiologists on staff.

An estimated 25 percent of ECG readings are "misjudged or overlooked" by the physician, and a person may be sent home from the hospital without a correct diagnosis, according to the scientists. However, the technology still won't replace a skilled physician who understands the fine points of the "the art of medicine because the ECG reading is only one of several tests used by physicians to diagnose a heart attack. Doctors will still need to talk to patients about their symptoms and medical history," he says.

Other co-authors are Hans Ohlin, M.D., Ph.D., and Ralf Rittner, M.Sc.

Circulation is one of five medical journals published by the Dallas-based American Heart Association.
Media advisory: Dr. Edenbrandt can be reached at 46-46-17-3305 or fax at 46-46-15-1769 (Please do not publish telephone numbers.)

American Heart Association

Related Heart Attack Articles from Brightsurf:

Top Science Tip Sheet on heart failure, heart muscle cells, heart attack and atrial fibrillation results
Newly discovered pathway may have potential for treating heart failure - New research model helps predict heart muscle cells' impact on heart function after injury - New mass spectrometry approach generates libraries of glycans in human heart tissue - Understanding heart damage after heart attack and treatment may provide clues for prevention - Understanding atrial fibrillation's effects on heart cells may help find treatments - New research may lead to therapy for heart failure caused by ICI cancer medication

Molecular imaging identifies link between heart and kidney inflammation after heart attack
Whole body positron emission tomography (PET) has, for the first time, illustrated the existence of inter-organ communication between the heart and kidneys via the immune system following acute myocardial infarction.

Muscle protein abundant in the heart plays key role in blood clotting during heart attack
A prevalent heart protein known as cardiac myosin, which is released into the body when a person suffers a heart attack, can cause blood to thicken or clot--worsening damage to heart tissue, a new study shows.

New target identified for repairing the heart after heart attack
An immune cell is shown for the first time to be involved in creating the scar that repairs the heart after damage.

Heart cells respond to heart attack and increase the chance of survival
The heart of humans and mice does not completely recover after a heart attack.

A simple method to improve heart-attack repair using stem cell-derived heart muscle cells
The heart cannot regenerate muscle after a heart attack, and this can lead to lethal heart failure.

Mount Sinai discovers placental stem cells that can regenerate heart after heart attack
Study identifies new stem cell type that can significantly improve cardiac function.

Fixing a broken heart: Exploring new ways to heal damage after a heart attack
The days immediately following a heart attack are critical for survivors' longevity and long-term healing of tissue.

Heart patch could limit muscle damage in heart attack aftermath
Guided by computer simulations, an international team of researchers has developed an adhesive patch that can provide support for damaged heart tissue, potentially reducing the stretching of heart muscle that's common after a heart attack.

How the heart sends an SOS signal to bone marrow cells after a heart attack
Exosomes are key to the SOS signal that the heart muscle sends out after a heart attack.

Read More: Heart Attack News and Heart Attack Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to