A comparison of the interpretation of digitized and videotape recorded echocardiograms

D. S. Segar, D. Skolnick, S. G. Sawada, G. Fitch, D. Wagner, D. Adams, H. Feigenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Conventional echocardiograms are typically recorded on videotape and later reviewed and interpreted by a physician. Although videotape recording is an excellent medium for this purpose, it does have several disadvantages, which may be overcome by digital storage. This study compared the diagnostic accuracy of digitized and videotape recorded echocardiograms. Echocardiographic examinations (n = 110) were recorded simultaneously on videotape and were digitized with a commercially available frame grabber system. Images were transmitted by an Ethernet link to the network-based computer system and compressed with a nondestructive compression algorithm. Images were reviewed on a personal computer. Images were interpreted by 3 observers, and differences in interpretation were documented. There were 274 findings in 110 patients. Exact agreement in interpretation was found in 83%. A major discrepancy occurred in 2%, and a minor discrepancy occurred in 15%. Most discrepancies occurred in the setting of valvular heart disease. When compared with a consensus interpretation, no significant difference was seen in the number of errors between the digital and videotape interpretation. We conclude that the interpretation of a properly recorded digitized echocardiographic examination yields interpretations equivalent to those of videotape recordings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)714-719
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Society of Echocardiography
Issue number9
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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