Methodological differences in the placement of precordial ECG electrodes are a major problem in multicenter clinical trials and epidemiological studies. Trend analysis and realization of the full potential of computer programs for serial comparison demands reduction of technical sources of variation in the electrocardiogram (ECG) and vectorcardiogram (VCG) and particularly errors in locating ECG electrodes. The ECG electrode locator described here reduces a major precordial uncertainty in the identification of the midclavicular and the anterior axillary lines. It simplifies positioning and provides a numeric record of the key precordial electrode positions, facilitating control of electrode placement errors in serial recordings.
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It is generally accepted that electrode positioning errors are the most important source of non-biologic ECG and VCG variations. They are a major cause of variation in serial Research Laboratory, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4H7 and the Laboratory of Physiological Hygiene, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota. *Supported in part through research grants from the Nova Scotia Heart Foundation. **Dr. Eifler is a Canadian Heart Foundation Research Fellow. Reprint requests to: Dr. P. M. Rautaharju, 4G Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4H7.
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