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Open Access Electrocardiographic Monitoring in the Göttingen Minipig

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The purpose of the study reported here was to determine conditions for electrocardiographic monitoring in the Göttingen minipig in view of its use as a second non-rodent species in toxicology studies. Electrocardiograms were recorded from conscious minipigs (6/sex) maintained in a sling. The three standard bipolar limb leads (I, II, III), the three augmented unipolar limb leads (aVR, aVL, aVF), the triangular Nehb-Spöri leads (dorsal, axial, ventral) and their corresponding unipolar leads were recorded, and automated analysis of amplitudes and intervals was made.

Major QRS patterns were not observed for any of the bipolar and unipolar leads. For triangular leads, the amplitude of waves was higher than that for limb leads, and the rS pattern dominated for dorsal, axial ventral and aVF-Ventral leads. The qR pattern dominated in the aVR-dorsal lead, whereas consistency and dominant patterns were not observed for the aVL-axial lead. For limb leads, the position of the electrode affected the ECG. Electrodes placed on the cubital and stifle joints were the preferred positions since the P- and R-waves were clearly identifiable with amplitudes > 0.2 mV. Also, the T-wave amplitude was (positive or negative) > 0.2 mV in at least two leads, making the determination of the QT-interval accurate. For the triangular leads, the position of the electrode had less influence on the amplitude of deflections. However, if the axial lead is to be used for calculation of intervals and amplitudes, the xyphoid process is the preferred position. In conclusion, the triangular lead system is recommended for recording ECGs in minipigs. Limb leads could be used in connection. The cubital and stifle joints for standard limb leads and the neck, sacrum, and xyphoid process for triangular leads are the preferred positions for electrodes.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Comparative Medicine, Pfizer Global Research and Development, Amboise B.P. 159 37401 Amboise Cedex, France 2: Consultant in cardiology, Gladwyne, Pennsylvania 19035

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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