The Electrocardiogram and Its Relationship to Excitation of the Heart

  • Roger C. Barr
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 90)


If voltage is recorded as a function of time between two electrodes separated on the body surface, a sufficiently sensitive amplifier will show that a changing voltage exists between the two electrodes that has the same periodicity as the heart beat. A.D. Waller {l} and others demonstrated around 1900 that this voltage originates in the electrical activity of the heart. Accurate measurement of such electrocardiograms (ECGs) was greatly facilitated by the invention of the string galvanometer by Einhoven {2}. The string galvanometer, although bulky, was the first recording instrument capable of producing electrocardiograms comparable in fidelity to those observed today.


Body Surface Cardiac Muscle Potential Distribution Volume Conductor Electrical Event 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

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  • Roger C. Barr

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