gms | German Medical Science

33rd International Congress on Electrocardiology

International Society of Electrocardiology

Role of the ECG in managing children with suspected heart disease

Meeting Abstract

Search Medline for

  • A. Elhewala - Zagazig University, Pediatric Hospital, Cairo, Egypt
  • corresponding author presenting/speaker H. Hamza - Zagazig University, Pediatric Hospital, Cairo, Egypt

33rd International Congress on Electrocardiology. Cologne, 28.06.-01.07.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2007. Doc06ice146

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: February 8, 2007

© 2007 Elhewala et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Recent advances in echocardiographic technologies over the last years have revolutionized the image quality and data acquisition capabilities; however, it has also substantially increased the cost of an investigation in a child with suspected heart disease. Furthermore, most experts doubt that it is cost effective to order an echocardiogram on every patient before evaluation by a pediatric cardiologist. Purpose of this paper is to highlight the value of the ECG in the evaluation of pediatric patients to decrease the number of referred cases for echocardiographic studies, as in the egyptian community with a large population, few skilled echocardiographer , few echo machines and less money to spend. Even in developed countries a rationalized use of echocardiography to decrease expenses is mandatory. Mostly, the correct diagnosis of a heart murmur can be made after clinical evaluation, chest x-ray and ECG . Most common causes of referral in our local setting are: 1) innocent murmurs; 2) rheumatic heart disease; 3) congenital heart disease; 4) evaluation of cardiac function

In this paper the role of ECG in managing children with suspected heart disease will be discussed. Goal was to rationalize the given resources, man power, money and time. An algorithm for reducing the use of echocardiography is presented.

It can be concluded that the addition of the ECG to complete history, physical examination and chest x-ray in the evaluation of new pediatric patients by pediatric cardiologist is practical, still valuable and will decrease referral of cases to the echo lab which is not available for most patients in our community.