BACKGROUND: Previous studies that determined the frequency content of the pediatric ECG had their limitations: the study population was small or the sampling frequency used by the recording system was low. Therefore, current bandwidth recommendations for recording pediatric ECGs are not well founded. We wanted to establish minimum bandwidth requirements using a large set of pediatric ECGs recorded at a high sampling rate. METHODS AND RESULTS: For 2169 children aged 1 day to 16 years, a 12-lead ECG was recorded at a sampling rate of 1200 Hz. The averaged beats of each ECG were passed through digital filters with different cut off points (50 to 300 Hz in 25-Hz steps). We measured the absolute errors in maximum QRS amplitude for each simulated bandwidth and determined the percentage of records with an error >25 microV. We found that in any lead, a bandwidth of 250 Hz yields amplitude errors <25 microV in >95% of the children <1 year. For older children, a gradual decrease in ECG frequency content was demonstrated. CONCLUSIONS: We recommend a minimum bandwidth of 250 Hz to record pediatric ECGs. This bandwidth is considerably higher than the previous recommendation of 150 Hz from the American Heart Association.

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Circulation (Baltimore)
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Rijnbeek, P., Kors, J., & Witsenburg, M. (2001). Minimum bandwidth requirements for recording of pediatric electrocardiograms. Circulation (Baltimore), 104(25), 3087–3090. Retrieved from