Automated Detection of Low Ejection Fraction From a One-Lead Electrocardiogram: Application of an AI Algorithm to an ECG-Enabled Digital Stethoscope

Study uses AI algorithm applied to ECG-enabled digital stethoscope to detect low EF.
May 23, 2022

Authors: Zachi I Attia, Jennifer Dugan, Adam Rideout, John N Maidens, Subramaniam Venkatraman, Ling Guo, Peter A Noseworthy, Patricia A Pellikka, Steve L Pham, Suraj Kapa, Paul A Friedman, Francisco Lopez-Jimenez

Introduction: Electrocardiogram (ECG)-enabled stethoscope (ECG-Scope) acquires a single-lead ECGs during cardiac auscultation and may facilitate real-time screening for pathologies not routinely identified by cardiac auscultation alone. We previously demonstrated an artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm can identify left ventricular dysfunction (LVSD) [defined as ejection fraction (EF) ≤ 40%] with an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.91 using a 12-lead ECG.

Methods and results: One hundred patients referred for clinically indicated echocardiography were prospectively recruited. ECG-Scope recordings with the patient supine and sitting were obtained in multiple electrode locations at the time of the echocardiogram. The AI algorithm for the detection of LVSD was retrained using single leads from ECG-12 and validated against ECG-Scope to determine accuracy for low EF detection (≤35%, <40%, or <50%). We evaluated the algorithm with respect to body position and lead location. Amongst 100 patients (aged 61.3 ± 13.8; 61% male, BMI: 30.0 ± 5.4), eight had EF≤40%, and six had EF 40–50%. The best single recording position was V2 with the patient supine [AUC: 0.88 (CI: 0.80–0.97) for EF≤35%, 0.85 (CI: 0.75–0.95) for EF≤40%, and 0.81 (CI: 0.71–0.90) for EF < 50%]. When using an AI model to select the recording automatically, AUC was 0.91 (CI: 0.84–0.97) for EF≤35%, 0.89 (CI: 0.83–0.96) for EF≤40%, and 0.84 (CI: 0.73–0.94) for EF < 50%.

Conclusion: An AI algorithm applied to an ECG-enabled stethoscope recording in standard auscultation positions reliably detected the presence of a low EF in this prospective study of patients referred for echocardiography. The ability to screen patients with a possible low EF during routine physical examination may facilitate rapid detection of LVSD.

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