Case 3: A Strange Computerized ECG Interpretation

  • John G. Brock-Utne


A 38-year-old man is scheduled for vasectomy reversal. He is healthy except for a history of several anxiety attacks, after a death of his youngest child, 6 months before this procedure. His symptoms included shortness of breath, palpitations, and dizziness. He denies any history of cardiac or neurological disease, syncope, exercise-induced chest symptoms, and any family risk factors for coronary artery disease. He states he is fit and his wife concurred that he exercises regularly. Since the patient was deemed healthy and not scheduled for major surgery, he was not evaluated in the Anesthesia Preoperative Assessment Clinic prior to surgery.


ECG Bradycardia General anesthesia IV Anxiety Vaso-vagal attack 


  1. 1.
    Schmiesing CA, Brock-Utne JG, Fischer SP. Misinterpretation by computerized ECG machine – a case report and literature review. Am J Anesthesiol. 2001;28:351–4.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Jakobsson A, Ohlin P, Pahlm O. Does a computer-based ECG recorder interpret electrocardiograms more efficiently than physicians? Clin Physiol. 1985;5:417–23.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Spodnick DH, Bishop RL. Computer treason, intraobserver variability of an electrocardiographic computer system. AM J Cardiol. 1997;80:102–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Marriot HJL. Practical electrocardiography. 7th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins; 1983. p. 102–3.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Roizen MF. Preoperative evaluation. In: Miller RD, editor. Anesthesia. 4ed ed. New York: Churchill Livingstone; 1994. p. 845–7.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Mooreman JR, Hlatky MA, Eddy DM, et al. The yield of the routine admission electrocardiogram. A study in a general medical service. Ann Intern Med. 1985;103:590–5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Fischer SP. Development and effectiveness of an anesthesia preoperative evaluation clinic in a teaching hospital. Anesthesiology. 1996;85:196–206.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Brock-Utne
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiaStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations