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ECG Tutorial

Author: Jo van Schalkwyk, Posted on Sunday, November 09 @ 00:00:00 IST by RxPG  

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When cell membranes in the heart depolarise, voltages change and currents flow. Because a human can be regarded as a bag of salt water (with baad attitude), in other words, a volume conductor, changes in potential are transmitted throughout the body, and can be measured. When the heart depolarises, it's convenient (and fairly accurate) to represent the electrical activity as a dipole --- a vector between two point charges. Remember that a vector has both a size (magnitude), and a direction. By looking at how the potential varies around the volume conductor, one can get an idea of the direction of the vector. This applies to all intra-cardiac events, so we can talk about a vector (or axis) for P waves, the QRS complex, T waves, and so on.

Read the whole tutorial at anaesthetist.com

Bibliography and sources

A good general reference is Leo Schamroth's An Introduction to Electrocardiography, published by Blackwell Scientific. (7th Ed., 1990, ISBN 0-632-02411-9). It has the merits of both clarity, accuracy and depth). Leo was one of the truly great men of electrocardiography, and a brilliant physician, to boot.
SOURCE www.anaesthetist.com/icu/organ/heart/ecg/

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