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109 – 3-, 6-, and 12-Lead ECG

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a graphic recording of the changes occurring in the electrical potentials between different sites on the skin (leads) as a result of cardiac activity. Depolarization of the cardiac cells is the central electrical event of the heart. This occurs when the cardiac cells, which are electrically polarized, lose their internal negativity. Depolarization is distributed from cell to cell, producing a wave of depolarization that can be transmitted across the entire heart. This wave represents a flow of electricity and it can be detected by electrodes placed on the surface of the body. Once depolarization is complete, the cardiac cells are able to restore their resting polarity through a process called repolarization. This flow of electricity can also be sensed by recording electrodes.

ECG data recording

One common placement of the electrodes is based on Einthoven’s triangle, which is an imaginary triangle drawn around the volume of the heart. Each apex of the triangle represents where the body’s composition, around the heart, connects electrically with the limbs. Einthoven’s law states that if the values for any two points of the triangle are known, the third can be computed.

This Application Note details 1-lead ECG, 3-lead ECG, 6-lead ECG, and 12-lead ECG.

See alsoContinuous 12-lead ECG – App Note #AH-206

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