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Non specific T-Wave abnormality
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by Michaelccc, Sep 20, 2007
within the last year i've had like 20 ekgs and all the printouts from the computer say "non specific t-wave abnormality". The docs look at the ekg after the computer prints it out and always say the same thing. This is nothing. its a normal ekg. your heartrate is a little fast other than that. its normal. has anyone had this on their ekg. if its normal then why would a computer say abnormal t-wave abnormality . what exactly would cause this ? and is this dangerous/
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Member Comments (18)
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by kitcurious, Sep 21, 2007
Because computers can't actually read ekgs. They are not intelligent, they are machines that are overly sensistive and the docs complain constantly about them spitting out too many false positives. The mammogram software is apparently even worse than the ekgs. I had a sig. other who was a physician and he made it clear that these things were a real problem, causing unnecessary anxiety in patients. Let it go.
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by Michaelccc, Sep 22, 2007
thanks for your advice and opinion on the topic.  maybe they should stop letting the computer doing the diagnosis i'm sure there are tons of people like me panic strikken when they see those weird printouts and read some possibilities of what may be
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by PikaPika88, Sep 23, 2007
I let you know.....  Mine one is more horrible than everyone else.  The machine is stupid and the Dr should be clever?

EKG spitting out as follow:
1st degree A.V.block
Right atrial enlargement
Left ventricular hypertrophy
Anterior myocardial infarction, age undetermined
Possibly acute inferior myocardial infarction

The doc crossed out all of the above and wrote:
Bundle Branch Block + ST Elevation V1 ? Brugada variant

Then asked me to see a rhythm dr.  The rhythm dr said, "NORMAL, don't look at what's the doctor wrote there.  That're not true!"  

Machine v Doctor ?  Hot topic!
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by Michaelccc, Sep 23, 2007
holy **** that machine reading would have scared the hell out of me.  i'm curious though whats a bundle branch block? and whats a bruguda variant?  also i'm curious when these machines spit these things out i realize that a doc makes the last call but is it possible that when we get such readings we are basically borderline healthy? meaning we may not have what the machine says we have but maybe we are on the "borderline" of having these things? would a completely normal i mean a super athletic person who is in tip top shape ever get a reading from a computer like that?
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by kitcurious, Sep 24, 2007
There is no machine versus doctor . Doctors use a machine for what its worth. Machines have no brain, no eyes,  no ears, no hands,  no case history, no reason and no prescription pad. The machines being programmed to spit out any and all possibilities is not merely to alert the doctors to take a look at something, it is also I am sure, designed as a  "CYA" for the software manufacturer.
Though this may backfire on the companies because a report on NPR also mentioned that the mammogram machines make so many marks on the films the doctors can barley see them to look for an actual problem.

For the doctors it also has the added benefit of providing nice healthy follow-up fees from nice perfectly healthy (but anxious) patients .

If one runs back for enough tests there are countless variations a machine can give  depending on the placement of the leads, degeree of anxiety in patient and other factors etc.

Simple example for a non heart expert to get my point? My ENT's ear test (blows air into each ear and charts the path of it) showed one ear had NO response. Zero.  The technician then gave me a standard hearing test monitored by her. She found that I hear perfectly in both ears, and the doc  disregaded the result because, unlike the machine, he has common sense. It was wrong.  Perhaps it malfunctioned or perhaps my ear canals were shaped differently than the norm or a zillion other things, but I hear just fine.

Machines are tools for people.

You are fine.  Exercise, good foods, no smoking. These are things you control. Nothing else is in your power.
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by kitcurious, Sep 24, 2007
Also, if I recall correctly "non-specific" means that by itself it is not diagnostic of anything.
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by CollegeGirl143, Sep 24, 2007
Kit is absolutely right... While it can be quite frightening , EKG's misdiagnose often, because they are not rational or even particularly analytical, they are given basic guidelines on which to base a "diagnosis" and as we all know, people, and ailments, generally dont fit neatly into little boxes.. a very basic example is, some EKG's are programmed to automatically spit out an SVT diagnosis once the heart rate reaches 175+, despite the actual rhthym at work. a doctor can quickly and easily determine if its actual SVT of just a higher rate of sinus tach...  Always count on your doctor to interpret your heart rhythm in a more meaningful and accurate way than the tool hes using.. If you still have doubts,you can get a second opinion :)
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by Michaelccc, Sep 26, 2007
thanks i guess all this stuff makes sense. quick question .  the last few months since i started getting pvcs i had like 20 ekgs and all came back  t-wave abnormalities.   however years ago like 5 years ago i had an ekg or 2 and i'm not sure but i recall that it only said i had sinus tach. is this of any significance that i didnt have this spit out by a machine few years back but now it always there? like i said i'm not sure but i'm almost positive the machine just said sinus tach a few years back. now its sinus tach and t-wave abnormality. does this mean anything at all ? like a changing or weakening heart or something?
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by deedle1976, Sep 26, 2007
EKGs can change without it meaning anything. My T waves were completely inverted in 6 of the leads on my EKG and the machine's print out ischemia. The following week they were flat and the next week they were back to normal.  The cardiologist said the normal echo totally overruled the EKG and showed that the T wave stuff was nothing.