Background Myoelectric noise and baseline wander, artifacts that appear when patients move during electrocardiographic monitoring, can cause false alarms. This problem can be addressed by using a reduced lead set and placing electrodes on the anterior part of the torso only. The Mason-Likar modification of the standard 12-lead electrocardiogram and the EASI lead system are 2 alternative systems for lead placement.

Objectives To test the hypothesis that the EASI lead system is less susceptible to artifacts than is the Mason-Likar modification of the standard 12-lead electrocardiogram.

Methods Baseline wander and myoelectric noise amplitudes of EASI and Mason-Likar 12-lead electrocardiograms were compared. Twenty healthy volunteers participated. Both lead systems were recorded simultaneously for different types of physical activities. For each lead in each subject, baseline wander and myoelectric noise were measured for both systems, at rest and during each physical activity.

Results The outcome for baseline wander was mixed. For myoelectric noise content, the EASI system performed better for the limb leads in the different physical activities. In the precordial leads, the differences were minimal or mixed. However, for supine-to-right turning, EASI performed worse than the Mason-Likar system.

Conclusions The 2 systems have similar susceptibilities to baseline wander. The EASI system is, however, less susceptible to myoelectric noise than is the Mason-Likar system. EASI performed worse than Mason-Likar for turning supine to right, because only the EASI system uses an electrode in the right-midaxillary line.

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