Artifacts on electrocardiograms can simulate serious arrhythmias and thus lead to unnecessary diagnostic or therapeutic interventions. This case report describes an electrocardiographic artifact due to high-frequency oscillatory ventilation.
Artifacts on electrocardiograms (ECGs) can simulate serious arrhythmias and thus lead to unnecessary diagnostic or therapeutic interventions.11 One cause of ECG artifacts is simultaneous use of other equipment while the ECG is being monitored or recorded. ECG artifacts mimicking either atrial or ventricular arrhythmia have been reported with the use of a variety of equipment (see TableT1). Muscle contractions (eg, tremors, shivering, convulsions) and body motion (eg, changing body position, brushing the teeth, combing the hair, physiotherapy, coughing, hiccoughing) can also cause ECG disturbances that simulate arrhythmias.
To my knowledge, the following is the first report of an ECG artifact due to high-frequency oscillatory ventilation.