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J Electrocardiol. 2014 Jul-Aug;47(4):430-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jelectrocard.2014.04.005. Epub 2014 Apr 26.

Olson method for locating and calculating the extent of transmural ischemic areas at risk of infarction.

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ECG-TECH Corp, Huntington, NY.
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.
Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark.
Physio-control, Redmond, WA.
Adult Inpatient Medical Services (AIMS) Group, Austin, TX.
Dept of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, Lund University and Skåne University, Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. Electronic address:



The purpose of this study is to present a new and improved method for translating the electrocardiographic changes of acute myocardial ischemia into a display which reflects the location and extent of the ischemic area and the associated culprit coronary artery. This method could be automated to present a graphic image of the ischemic area in a manner understandable by all levels of caregivers; from emergency transport personnel to the consulting cardiologist.


Current methods for the ECG diagnosis of ST elevated myocardial infarction (STEMI) are criteria driven, and complex, and beyond the interpretive capability of many caregivers. New methods are needed to accurately diagnose the presence of acute transmural myocardial ischemia in order to accelerate a patient's clinical "door to balloon time." The proposed new method could potentially provide the information needed to accomplish this objective.


The new method improves the precision of diagnosis and quantification of ischemia by normalizing the ST segment inputs from the standard 12 lead ECG, transforming these into a three dimensional vector representation of the ischemia at the electrical center of the heart. The myocardial areas likely to be involved in this ischemia are separately analyzed to assess the probability that they contributed to this event. The source of the ischemia is revealed as a specific region of the heart, and the likely location of the associated culprit coronary artery. Seventy 12 lead ECGs from subjects with known single artery occlusion in one of the three main coronary arteries were selected to test this new method. Graphic plots of the distribution of ischemia as indicated by the method are consistent with the known occlusion. The analysis of the distribution of ischemic areas in the myocardium reveals that the relationships between leads with either ST elevation or ST depression, provide critical information improving the current method.


ECG; Olsen method; ST elevated myocardial infarction

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