The Single-Cutoff Trap: Implications For Bayesian Analysis of Stress Electrocardiograms.
Quantitative analysis of exercise electrocardiograms has been emphasized by many investigators. Specific problems have been found when a single cutoff is used to define a positive or a negative test: a single cutoff does not distinguish stress electrocardiography results that are slightly positive from those that are markedly positive. This may lead clinicians to underweigh strong evidence for or against coronary artery disease. This study evaluated clinicians' quantitative analysis of stress electrocardiograms. Two hundred and thirty-five physicians interpreted the results of mildly positive (1.2 mm ST-segment depression) and strongly positive (2.2 mm ST-segment depression) stress electrocardiograms. Their posttest probability estimates were too high for a mildly positive test (0.62 +/- 0.02 versus actual of 0.38; p less than 0.001) and too low for a strongly positive test (0.77 +/- 0.01 versus actual of 0.98; p less than 0.001). Physicians should understand decision aids and should use multiple rather than single cutoffs to interpret the results of stress electrocardiography.
Published In/Presented At
Young, M. J., Fried, L. S., Eisenberg, J. M., Hershey, J. C., & Williams, S. V. (1989). The single-cutoff trap: implications for Bayesian analysis of stress electrocardiograms. Medical Decision Making: An International Journal Of The Society For Medical Decision Making, 9(3), 176-180.
Medical Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Faculty