Print ISSN: 0253-0759

Online ISSN: 2413-4414

Author : A. Alrudainy, Laith


VALIDITY OF ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHIC VOLTAGE CRITERIA: HOW USEFUL ARE THEY IN ATHLETES?

Laith A. Alrudainy; Omran S. Habib; Abdul Raheem AL-Humrani

The Medical Journal of Basrah University, Volume 23, Issue 2, Pages 21-25
DOI: 10.33762/mjbu.2005.46125

ABSTRACT
Electrocardiographic (ECG) criteria for left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy have been almost exclusively elaborated and
calibrated in general population. Because several differences in ECG characteristics have been found in athletes, the
applicability of these criteria to athletes individuals remains to be demonstrated. We therefore investigated the
performance of classic ECG criteria (Sokolow-Lyon voltage criterion) for detection of LV hypertrophy in professional
athletes. We compared ECG patterns with cardiac morphology (as assessed by echocardiography) in 90 athletes (aged
23.4+4.3 years). we found that, the value of Sokolow-Lyon voltage criterion in athletes ranged from 18 to 53 mm (mean,
34.7+8 mm), and about 56% of them had Left ventricular hypertrophy according to this criterion. The sensitivity of ECG
to detect correctly the presence of ventricular hypertrophy in athletes is low (63.6%) which means that the ECG missed
36.4% of cases of left ventricular hypertrophy. On the other hand, the ECG ability to exclude ventricular hypertrophy
among athletes without such condition (specificity) was very low (50.9%). So that, caution should be taken when using
ECG voltage criteria for LV hypertrophy detection in athletes because they exhibit only limited accuracy (generally due to
poor sensitivity and specificity).