Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Accuracy of diagnosing atrial fibrillation on electrocardiogram by primary care practitioners and interpretative diagnostic software: analysis of data from screening for atrial fibrillation in the elderly (SAFE) trial

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 23 August 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:380

Rapid Response:

Accuracy of Detection of Atrial Fibrillation calls for proper and rigid training of primary care practitioners

I commend the author for writing this informative article. It is very
essential for general practitioners and practice nurses to screen and
diagnose atrial fibrillation to prevent further complications like stroke.
It is also an eye opener that a machine or software cannot replace
training and experience of a cardiologist in the interpretation of
The authors were right to quote pulse palpation as one of their weakness
which might increase the sensitivity of general practitioners to detect
atrial fibrillation which is evident in the article of Cooke G. and
colleagues. The authors also mentioned that access to other clinical
information about the patient with the electrocardiogram is a weakness in
their study because this might have an effect in the detection of atrial
fibrillation. This was a result in the article of Anh D and colleagues,
Accuracy of electrocardiogram interpretation by cardiologists in the
setting of incorrect computer analysis, July, 2006.
The study is very beneficial hovewer I would like to suggest that
regular, proper and rigid training will be very helpful to improve the
accuracy of primary care practitioners in diagnosing atrial fibrillation.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

06 July 2007
Rodolfo Jr. L. Yuchongco
Resident Physician
Paranaque, Philippines 1700