Background: Discussion about the selection of diagnostic features of the ECG and their possible interpretation would benefit from a model of the genesis of these signals that has a sound basis in electrophysiology as well as in physics. Recent advances in computer technology have made it possible to build a simulation package whereby the genesis of ECG signals can be studied interactively.
Design: A numerical method was developed for computing ECG signals on the thorax, as well as electrograms on both endocardium and epicardium. The source representation of the myocardial electric activity is the equivalent double layer. The transfer factors between the electric sources and the resulting potentials on the heart surface as well as on the body surface were computed using a realistic thorax model.
Results and conclusion: The resulting transfer factors were implemented in a simulation program. The program allows the user to make interactive changes in the timing of depolarisation and repolarisation on the ventricular surface, as well as changing the local source strength, and to inspect or document the effect of such changes instantaneously on electrograms and body surface potentials, visualised by waveforms as well as by potential maps and movies. The entire simulation package can be installed free of charge from www.ecgsim.org.
- QRST waveforms
- interactive simulation
- EDL source model
- T wave simulation
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