Introduction and objectives Identification of the J-point and measurement of ST segment elevation at the J-point are important for the diagnosis of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI). We conducted a study to determine the inter-rater reliability (IRR) of J-point location and measurement of the magnitude of ST elevation at the J-point on ECGs of patients with STEMI by emergency department (ED) doctors.
Subjects and methods Each participant examined 20 STEMI ECGs during a 1-month period in 2013. The participants were required to locate the J-point by selecting the small 1 mm square within which the J-point is located and measure the magnitude of ST elevation at the J-point identified (rounded up to the nearest 0.5 mm). The intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was calculated to assess the IRR.
Results Thirty doctors participated. The ICC assessing the degree to which all participants provided agreement in their assessment of the location of J-points across ECGs was 0.85 (95% CI 0.75 to 0.93), which is in the excellent range. The ICC for assessing the magnitude of ST elevation was 0.97 (95% CI 0.94 to 0.98), indicating excellent agreement as well.
Conclusions ED doctors show a high level of agreement when determining the location of J-points and measuring the magnitude of ST elevation at those J-points on ECGs of patients with STEMI. The findings support the measurement of ST segment elevation at the J-point in STEMI cases and should be regarded as a consistent standard to avoid confusion.
- cardiac care, acute myocardal infarct
- cardiac care, diagnosis
- ECG, interpretation
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