Distortion Factors in the ECG

Jaakko Malmivuo

in Bioelectromagnetism

Published in print October 1995 | ISBN: 9780195058239
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847839 | DOI:
Distortion Factors in the ECG

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It has been observed that uncorrected lead systems evince a considerable amount of distortion affecting the quality of the ECG signal. In the corrected lead systems many of these factors are compensated for by various design methods. Distortion factors arise, generally, because the preconditions are not satisfied. For instance, the Frank system VCG signal will be undistorted provided that the sources in the heart can be well described as a single fixed-location dipole; the dipole is located at the position assumed by Frank; the thorax has the same shape as Frank's model; and the thorax is homogeneous. None of these assumptions are met clinically, and therefore, the VCG signal deviates from the ideal. In addition, there are errors due to the incorrect placement of the electrodes, poor electrode-skin contact, other sources of noise, and finally instrumentation error. This chapter discusses the character and magnitude of these inaccuracies.

Keywords: lead systems; ECG signal; distortion; electrode placement; electrode-skin contact; instrumentation error

Chapter.  2427 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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