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Frequently Asked Questions12 questions on MCG
How is MCG different from a conventional ECG?
MCG analysis is the first system of its kind to adopt a computational
biology approach in clinical medicine, and begins a new era for more
accurate and earlier detection of coronary disease non-invasively, without
the risk of test-related consequences such as radiation or contrast-induced
Systems Analysis Approach
Simplifies the ECG data by mapping it to a single
dipole, plotted on a two-dimensional scale
(time vs. voltage — the Einthoven ECG Model).
Processes the ECG data to produce a LaGrange-E√ler
model which accurately represents the solid/liquid interaction
of a living heart.
Segmental, single-cycle approach, focusing on a single
lead at a time, and evaluating sections of the waveform
(eg. ST Segment, T-Wave, QT intervals)
Operates on two leads simultaneously (II & v5), and across
multiple cardiac cycles.
Mathematical transformations extract non-linear funcational
relationships from the ECG signal which are not
captured by conventional techniques.
Requires experienced expert interpretations or over-reads
to avoid misdiagnosis.
No normalized/standardized empirical reference database
comparing to "gold standard" (angiography).
Compares transformed ECG data to a large, normalized,
retrospectively verified and prospectively validated
empirical reference database developed through over
two decades of research.
Reference database is derived using the "gold standard"
(angiography) for diagnostic validation.
Using surrogate to infer "possible ischemia",
accuracy impaired by ECG abnormalities
(eg. arrhythmias, bundle branch blocks).
Directly measures coronary ischemia without surrogate.
Accuracy unaffected by most resting ECG abnormalities
Provides a subjective and qualitative assessment
Provides an objective, quantitative measure of disease
How does MCG's accuracy compare to other diagnostic
Clinical trials and real-world experience has shown the MCG system
to be superior to other common clinical techniques such as stress tests,
nuclear perfusion imaging and CT angiography.
For full details, please see this
How can MCG provide better accuracy with 2 leads compared to a conventional 12-lead ECG?
The key to MCG's accuracy is in the MCG analysis algorithms — MCG
offers several advantages over a conventional ECG, notably:
The MCG Analysis expands the analog ECG signal into a series of
mathematical functions, more closely representing the complexity of
a living heart.
MCG analysis compares the results of the above functions to a
clinically validated database containing thousands of patients, including
healthy individuals and those with pathologies confirmed through
conventional diagnostic modalities.
The breadth of the MCG database exceeds the capacity of an individual
clinician reviewing a conventional ECG.
The accuracy of the MCG analysis is not affected by most
abnormalities in the resting ECG, arrhythmias, gender or
age due to the nature of the analysis, which focuses on the relationship
between two leads as opposed to the traditional method of analyzing
complexes (P, QRS, S-T, etc.).
MCG views the ECG data in both the time domain (as a conventional ECG)
and the frequency domain, using experimentally proven and empirically
validated signal processing techniques to extract latent information from
the ECG signal which is not available with conventional techniques.
How has the accuracy of MCG been validated?
The MCG technology has been validated through numerous peer-reviewed
studies, demonstrating its accuracy, sensitivity and specificity to be
equal to or better than experienced clinical judgment.
Additionally, the MCG system is currently used by discriminating
cardiologists, internists and family practitioners in their daily practices
domestically and internationally.
The technology has withstood intense scrutiny and has consistently
demonstrated a high level of accuracy based upon feedback from our user base.
Additional information and results from our clinical trials may be found
on our Clinical Trials
If MCG analysis is more accurate, why do a conventional ECG?
Conventional ECGs are a traditional tool, and physicians are trained and
accustomed to using it in their daily practice.
Conventional ECG technology also excells in detecting and differentiating
Premier Heart is actively working on techniques to improve the
MCG technology to enable it to function as a complete replacement
for conventional ECG.
Can MCG detect a previous MI and determine its severity?
Yes — Patients who have suffered heart attacks will have
heart muscle damage, which is detected as abnormalities by the
MCG analysis. Patients who suffer heart attacks following
their first MCG testing will show greater anomalies as the result
of the addional damaged cells.
In addition to detecting the damage, the MCG analysis quantifies the
damage based on the severity of the abnormalities observed, giving
a measure of the severty of the heart attack based on the degree of
The MCG system can be used during follow-up visits to monitor
patient improvement after a heart attack and determine if a treatment
is effective for a given patient.
Is MCG useful for screening asymptomatic patients?
Yes — A large number of patients with clinically significant
coronary artery obstruction remain asymptomatic up until their first heart
attack — at this point it is too late to reverse the damage done to
Because of its high positive and negative predictive values, MCG
is an excellent first-line screening tool prior to using more invasive
techniques such as coronary angiography.
Evaluation with the MCG system can detect coronary disease in its
earliest stages, allowing intervention before damage is done. If testing
reveals early-stage CAD lifestyle changes and medication may be all that
is necessary to avoid a potentially life-threatening heart attack.
For more advanced disease progression an MCG evaluation may provide the
first indication of coronary ischemia and enable intervention prior to
a life-threatening coronary event.
How widespread is the use of MCG?
The MCG technology has been in use for more than ten years.
Since the peer-reviewed publication of our most recent clinical trials in
2007 MCG systems have been used in daily clinical practice by
cardiologists, internists, urgent care
specialists and family practitioners in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut,
Florida, and California.
Internationally, units have been deployed in China, India, Japan, Dubai,
Mexico and Guyana.
Why have I not heard of MCG before?
Premier Heart did not begin formally selling the MCG technology
until late 2007, folliwng a significant amount of preparation —
approval, acceptance for reimbursement by several major
insurance carriers and the submission of our initial articles for
publication in peer-reviewed journals including
International Journal of Medical Sciences
With this foundation Premier Heart is able to confidently supply the
MCG technology as a clinically proven system, and we are now
expanding our distribution network to make the technology available to
a wider audience.
What is the cost and practicality of this technology in typical use?
The costs are:
The practicality is:
- Computerized MCG ECG data acquisition system: List price ~$35,0001
- 24/7/365 MCG analysis and database access: per-report fee
- Office personnel to perform the test
1 — Price may vary depending on model and options selected.
- A two-lead resting ECG procedure, without the contraindications of
conventional diagnostic procedures
- The test may be performed in virtually any clinical setting
- Anyone can be trained to perform the tests
- Results are available quickly (typically within 7-10 minutes)
- Any physician can be taught to read, understand and interpret the
Sample reports are available.
Why is the MCG procedure more costly than a typical ECG?
MCG is not a conventional ECG — While the in-office testing
procedure is nearly identical to a conventional resting ECG the detailed
analysis performed by Premier Heart's servers enables substantially more
accurate diagnoses than can be made from conventional ECGs. The cost
of MCG testing is actually significantly lower than other widely
used techniques (Stress testing, CT Angiography) while the results are
substantially more accurate.
The cost of the MCG test also represents Premier Heart's
investment in research and development, including compiling the largest
database of its kind to aid physicians in reaching rapid, accurate,
evidence-based diagnoses and our ongoing commitment to research and
development to improve the accuracy of this groundbreaking technology.
What are some disadvantages of the MCG system?
While MCG analysis is more accurate than other diagnostic
techniques it is not 100% accurate.
Clinical studies have shown that for diagnosis of ischemia due to
coronary artery disease MCG has a sensitivity of
90% with 7±2% false negative results. Specificity is 85% or
better, with 15±3% false positive results.
It is possible for MCG to report a negative result for a small
subset of patients with coronary artery disease. Likewise it is possible
for MCG to report a positive result for a subset of healthy
Additionally, the current generation of MCG does not determine the
location of coronary artery blockages — A seperate test (angiography) is
required for this.
Premier Heart is actively researching ways to improve the accuracy
and utility of the MCG technology.
We are confident that ongoing research and refinements will continue
to improve the results available from our system.