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Detec ting and dis ting uishing cardiac-pacing artifacts iStock imagE:Buried in noise WJohn Kruse and Catherine Redmond • Analog Devices Inc and larger cardiac hen a heart patient with an implanted signals, the artifacts pacemaker undergoes electrocardiogram of a pacemaker are testing, the cardiologist must be able to dificult to spot. detect the presence and effects of the ThE methodology pacemaker (see sidebar, “When the heart’s presented here can help electrical subsystem malfunctions”. A simple diagnosticians read betwen the lines of an ECG strip. 28 EDN Europe | MARCH 2013 www. edn-europe.com implanted pacer’s activity is generally not perceptible on a normal ECG trace, because the very fast pulses—with typical widths of hundreds of microseconds—get filtered due to low-bandwidth display resolution (monitor/diagnostic 40-/150-Hz bandwidths). The pacer’s signal, however, can be inferred through the changed morphology of the ECG trace, which is representative of the heart’s own electrical activity as recorded at the skin surface via ECG leads.


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