Effect of Different ECG Leads on Estimated R–R Intervals and Heart Rate Variability Parameters
Heart rate and heart rate variability parameters provide important information on sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of autonomous nervous system. These parameters are usually extracted from electrocardiograms often measured between two electrodes and called an ECG lead. Besides systems intended only for heart rate measurement, ECG measurement devices employ several well-known lead systems including the standard 12-lead system, EASI lead system and Mason-Likar systems. Therefore, the first step is to select the appropriate lead for heart rate variability analysis. The appropriate electrode locations for single-lead measurement systems or the preferred measurement lead in multi-lead measurement are choices that the user needs to make when the heart rate variability is of interest. However, it has not been addressed in the literature, if the lead selection has an effect on the obtained HRV parameters. In this work, we characterized the amount of deviation of heart rate and heart rate variability parameters extracted from nine ECG leads, six from EASI leads and three modified limb leads. The results showed a deviation of 2.04, 2.88, 2.06 and 3.45 ms in SDNN, rMSSD, SD1 and SD2, respectively. A relative difference up to 10% was observed in HRV parameters for single signal frames. Additionally, the discrimination of the R-peaks by amplitudes was evaluated. The A-S lead appeared to have the best performance in all the tests.