Flashcards in 6. The ECG Deck (30)
What is the difference between cells of the heart conducting system and myocytes?
Conducting system cells = specialised myocytes that have lost contractile ability but are able to generate APs.
Myocytes = contractile ability but unable to generate APs.
Describe how excitation normally spreads through the myocardium.
1. depolarisation at SAN followed by depolarisation of atrial myocytes
2. wave of depolarisation delayed by ~120-200ms at AVN - allows for atrial contraction
3. spread from atria to ventricles via Bundle of His
4. rapid conduction to all parts of ventricles via His-Purkinje system: depolarisation of interventricular septum... of apex and free ventricle wall (from endocardial to epicardial surfaces)... of base of ventricles
5. ventricular myocardial cells repolarise once all have depolarised, in opposite sequence to depolarisation (epicardial to endocardial cells)
What is the 'electrical axis' of the heart?
'overall' direction of depolarisation wave, directed towards apex, slightly to left of IV septum in normal heart
What is an ECG?
Records changing electrical field on extracellular surface of cardiac myocytes during wave of depolarisation and repolarisation, from the surface of the body using electrodes pasted on skin.
What does the nature of an ECG signal depend on?
the direction of spread of the electrical field relative to the position of the recording electrode
State the rules governing the nature of an ECG signal recorded by the positive electrode.
1- depolarisation spreading towards a positive electrode = upward deflection
2- depolarisation spreading away from a positive electrode = downward deflection
3- repolarisation spreading towards a positive electrode = downward deflection
4- repolarisation spreading away from a positive electrode = upward deflection
What does the amplitude (height) of an ECG deflection depend on?
1. amount of muscle mass (increased mass... larger electrical depolarisation signal... greater vertical deflection)
2. how directly wave of activity travels towards electrode:
- directly towards/away = large complex
- obliquely towards/away = smaller complex
- 90 degree angle to electrode = biphasic or no complex
Which part of the ECG trace indicates SAN depolarisation?
insufficient signal to register on surface ECG but equal to start of P wave
Which part of the ECG trace indicates atrial depolarisation?
P wave: small upward deflection as travelling towards +ve electrode
Which part of the ECG trace indicates AVN delay?
isoelectric (flat line) segment between P and Q wave
Which part of the ECG trace indicates depolarisation of bundle of His?
isoelectric (flat line) segment between P and Q
Why is the Bundle of His important in electrical conduction?
fibrous ring between atria and ventricles prevents contact between atrial and ventricular myocytes - bundle of his is only connection (so ischaemia in this region can affect ventricular contraction)
Which part of the ECG trace indicates IV septum depolarisation?
Q wave: small downward deflection as septum depolarises from left to right, moving obliquely away from lead II
Which part of the ECG trace indicates apex and free ventricular wall depolarisation?
R wave: large upward deflection as depolarisation moves directly towards electrode (large because of large muscle mass - more electrical activity)
How would left ventricular hypertrophy be indicated on an ECG trace?
taller R wave
Which part of the ECG trace indicates depolarisation of ventricle bases?
S wave: small downwards deflection as moving away from electrode, but not directly away
Which part of the ECG trace indicates ventricular repolarisation?
T wave: medium upward deflection as wave of repolarisation moving away from electrode (spreads in opposite direction to depolarisation, from epicardial to endocardial celsl)
How many electrodes are used in an ECG and how many view/leads of the heart does this give?
10 electrodes: 4 on limbs, 6 on chest
Give 12 views of the heart
In which planes do the limb and chest electrodes view the heart?
Limb leads = coronal plane
Chest leads = transverse (horizontal) plane
Describe the 6 leads of the limb electrodes.
Bipolar limb leads:
- I: right arm (-) to left arm (+)
- II: right arm (-) to left leg (+)
- III: left arm (-) to left leg (+)
Unipolar limb leads:
- aVR: heart to right arm (+)
- aVF: heart to left leg (+)
- aVL: heart to left arm (+)
Which lead provides the typical ECG trace?
What would the traces of lead I and aVL look like compared to lead II?
smaller amplitude of curves as more oblique angle (~90 degrees for aVL)
What would the trace of lead aVR look like compared to lead II?
~ mirror image as view in opposite direction
Where are the chest electrodes placed?
C1 - 4th intercostal space, right sternal border
C2 - 4th intercostal space, left sternal border
C3 - midway between C2 and C4
C4- 5th intercostal space, midclavicular line
C5- midway between C4 and C6
C6 - 5th intercostal space, midaxillary line
Which limb leads look at the inferior surface of the heart?
II, III and aVF
Which limb leads look at the left side of the heart?
I and aVL
Which chest leads look at the anterior heart/right ventricle and septum?
V1 and V2
Which chest leads look at the anterior apical region?
V3 and V4
Which chest leads look at the left ventrical/lateral aspect?
V5 and V6