An optimized lead system for long-term esophageal electrocardiography

Niederhauser, Thomas; Haeberlin, A; Marisa, Thanks; Mattle, Daniel; Abächerli, Roger; Götte, Josef; Jacomet, Marcel; Vogel, Rolf (2014). An optimized lead system for long-term esophageal electrocardiography. Physiological measurement, 35(4), pp. 517-532. Institute of Physics Publishing IOP 10.1088/0967-3334/35/4/517

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Long-term electrocardiography (ECG) featuring adequate atrial and ventricular signal quality is highly desirable. Routinely used surface leads are limited in atrial signal sensitivity and recording capability impeding complete ECG delineation, i.e. in the presence of supraventricular arrhythmias. Long-term esophageal ECG might overcome these limitations but requires a dedicated lead system and recorder design. To this end, we analysed multiple-lead esophageal ECGs with respect to signal quality by describing the ECG waves as a function of the insertion level, interelectrode distance, electrode shape and amplifier's input range. The results derived from clinical data show that two bipolar esophageal leads, an atrial lead with short (15 mm) interelectrode distance and a ventricular lead with long (80 mm) interelectrode distance provide non-inferior ventricular signal strength and superior atrial signal strength compared to standard surface lead II. High atrial signal slope in particular is observed with the atrial esophageal lead. The proposed esophageal lead system in combination with an increased recorder input range of ±20 mV minimizes signal loss due to excessive electrode motion typically observed in esophageal ECGs. The design proposal might help to standardize long-term esophageal ECG registrations and facilitate novel ECG classification systems based on the independent detection of ventricular and atrial electrical activity.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Cardiovascular Engineering (CVE)
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Cardiology
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Cardiovascular Engineering (CVE) > ARTORG Center - Cardiovascular Engineering (Blood Vessel)

UniBE Contributor:

Niederhauser, Thomas, Häberlin, Andreas David Heinrich, Marisa, Thanks, Mattle, Daniel, Götte, Josef, Vogel, Rolf


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Institute of Physics Publishing IOP




Francesco Clavica

Date Deposited:

09 Apr 2014 17:18

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:32

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:





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