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Diagnostic accuracy of the magnetocardiograph for patients with suspected acute coronary syndrome


Background We aimed to estimate the diagnostic accuracy of the VitalScan magnetocardiograph (MCG) for suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS).

Methods We undertook a prospective cohort study evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of the MCG in adults with suspected ACS. The reference standard of ACS was determined by an independent adjudication committee based on 30-day investigations and events. The cohort was split into a training sample, to derive the MCG algorithm and an algorithm combining MCG with a modified Manchester Acute Coronary Syndrome (MACS) clinical probability score, and a validation sample, to estimate diagnostic accuracy.

Results We recruited 756 participants and analysed data from 680 (293 training, 387 validation), of whom 96 (14%) had ACS. In the training sample, the respective area under the receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curves were the following: MCG 0.66 (95% CI 0.58 to 0.74), MACS 0.64 (95% CI 0.54 to 0.73) and MCG+MACS 0.70 (95% CI 0.63 to 0.77). MCG specificity was 0.16 (95% CI 0.12 to 0.21) at the threshold achieving acceptable sensitivity for rule-out (>0.98). In the validation sample (n=387), the respective AUROCs were the following: MCG 0.56 (95% CI 0.48 to 0.64), MACS 0.69 (95% CI 0.61 to 0.77) and MCG+MACS 0.64 (95% CI 0.56 to 0.72). MCG sensitivity was 0.89 (95% CI 0.77 to 0.95) and specificity 0.15 (95% CI 0.12 to 0.20) at the rule-out threshold. MCG+MACS sensitivity was 0.85 (95% CI 0.73 to 0.92) and specificity 0.30 (95% CI 0.25 to 0.35).

Conclusion The VitalScan MCG is currently unable to accurately rule out ACS and is not yet ready for use in clinical practice. Further developmental research is required.

  • cardiac care
  • diagnosis
  • acute coronary syndrome

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