Methods Inf Med 1990; 29(04): 282-288
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1634809
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The Role of Computer Modeling in Electrocardiography

A. van Oosterom
1   Laboratory of Medical Physics and Biophysics, University of Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
› Author Affiliations
The author is indebted to Geertjan Huiskamp and Thorn F. Oostendorp for their cooperation in the preparation of this paper and their cooperation in this research, as well as to Judith I. van Oosterom-Pooley for her support with the use of the English.
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Publication Date:
06 February 2018 (online)


This paper introduces some levels at which the computer has been incorporated in the research into the basis of electrocardiography. The emphasis lies on the modeling of the heart as an electrical current generator and of the properties of the body as a volume conductor, both playing a major role in the shaping of the electrocardiographic waveforms recorded at the body surface. It is claimed that the Forward-Problem of electrocardiography is no longer a problem. Several source models of cardiac electrical activity are considered, one of which can be directly interpreted in terms of the underlying electrophysiology (the depolarization sequence of the ventricles). The importance of using tailored rather than textbook geometry in inverse procedures is stressed.