Cost-effectiveness of echocardiography and electrocardiography for detection of left ventricular hypertrophy in patients with systemic hypertension Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Cardiomegaly
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Hypertension


  • Although echocardiography is more accurate than electrocardiography for detection of left ventricular hypertrophy, it is also more expensive, making it uncertain whether echocardiography is cost-effective for detection of this abnormality in hypertensive patients. Accordingly, the sensitivity of M-mode echocardiographic and electrocardiographic criteria for left ventricular hypertrophy was determined in necropsied patients with anatomic hypertrophy of mild (n = 26), moderate (n = 21) or severe (n = 46) degree, and the prevalence of each degree of hypertrophy was determined in 561 hypertensive adults drawn from clinical and employed population samples. The sensitivity of echocardiographic left ventricular mass index criteria was 57% in necropsied patients with mild hypertrophy and 98% in patients with moderate or severe hypertrophy. All electrocardiographic criteria exhibited lower sensitivity: 15 to 42% for mild, 10 to 38% for moderate, and 30 to 57% for severe hypertrophy. Cost estimates from three sources were $160 for M-mode echocardiography and $48 to $64 for 12-lead electrocardiography. In populations with a 12 to 40% prevalence of hypertrophy, echocardiography was calculated to cost less than electrocardiography per instance of hypertrophy detected ($390-$1013 vs $800-$1829), yielded better separation in predicted incidence of morbid events between hypertensive patients with or without hypertrophy (3.4-4.7 vs 1.5-2.1 per 100 patient-years as opposed to 3.0-4.4 vs 1.9-2.9 per 100 patient-years), and required smaller case and control samples for hypothetical research studies (n = 254-309 vs 397-3478).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

publication date

  • April 29, 1987



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed ID

  • 2948913

Additional Document Info

start page

  • II69

end page

  • 76


  • 9


  • 2 II SUPPL.