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Eur J Emerg Med. 2014 Apr;21(2):89-97. doi: 10.1097/MEJ.0b013e3283642e27.

Detection of regional myocardial ischaemia by a novel 80-electrode body surface Delta map in patients presenting to the emergency department with cardiac-sounding chest pain.

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  • 1aWessex Cardiac Unit bDepartment of Emergency, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust cDepartment of Cardiovascular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.



Presentation with acute chest pain is common, but the conventional 12-lead ECG has limitations in the detection of regional myocardial ischaemia. The previously described method of the body surface mapping system (BSM) Delta map, derived from an 80-electrode BSM, as well as a novel parameter total ischaemic burden (IB), may offer improved diagnostic sensitivity and specificity in patients with myocardial ischaemia.


The feasibility of using the novel BSM Delta map technique, and IB, for transient regional myocardial ischaemia was assessed in comparison with 12-lead ECG in 49 patients presenting to the emergency department (ED) with cardiac-sounding chest pain.


The sensitivity and specificity of 12-lead ECG for the diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome (ACS) was 67 and 55%, respectively, positive likelihood ratio (+LR) 1.52 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.86, 2.70] and negative likelihood ratio (-LR) 0.58 [95% CI 0.30, 1.12]. The sensitivity and specificity of the BSM Delta map for the diagnosis of ACS was 71 and 78%, +LR 3.19 [95% CI 1.31, 7.80], -LR 0.37 [95% CI 0.20, 0.68]. There was a significantly positive correlation between peak troponin-I concentration and IB (r=0.437; P<0.002).


This pilot study confirms the feasibility of using the Delta map for the diagnosis of ACS in patients presenting to the ED with cardiac-sounding chest pain and suggests that it has promising diagnostic accuracy and has superior sensitivity and specificity to the 12-lead ECG. The novel parameter of IB shows a significant correlation with troponin-I and is a promising tool for describing the extent of ischaemia. The use of the BSM Delta map in the ED setting could improve the diagnosis of clinically important ischaemic heart disease and furthermore presents the result in an intuitive manner, requiring little specialist experience. Further larger scale study is now warranted.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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