Methods Inf Med 1990; 29(04): 263-271
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1634793
ECG Interpretation Systems
Schattauer GmbH

Common Standards for Quantitative Electrocardiography: Goals and Main Results

J. L. Willems
1   CSE Coordinating Center, Division of Medical Informatics, University of Leuven, Belgium
P. Arnaud
2   INSERM Unite 121, Hopital Cardio-Vasculaire, Lyon, France
J. H. van Bemmel
3   Department of Medical Informatics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
R. Degani
4   Istituto per Ricerche di Dinamica dei Sistemi e Bioingegneria, LADSEB-CNR, Padova, Italy
P. W. Macfarlane
5   Department of Medical Cardiology, Glasgow, Scotland
Chr. Zywietz
6   Abteilung für Biosignalverarbeitung, Medizinische Hochschule, Hannover, Federal Republic of Germany
for the CSE Working Party › Author Affiliations
The research presented in this paper has been supported by the European Commission within the frame of its 2nd, 3rd and 4th Medical and Public Health Research Programmes of DG XII, as well as by the AIM and CTS programmes of DG XIII and by various funding agencies in ten EC Member States. This paper has partially been presented at the Symposium of the New York Academy of Sciences on “Electrocardiography: Past and Future”, held in Nice, September 7–9, 1989. The authors are grateful to Ms. I. Tassens for secretarial assistance and to Mr. I. Schoolmeesters for computer programming help.
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
06 February 2018 (online)


Computer processing of electrocardiograms (ECGs) has over the last 15 years increased rapidly. Still, there are at present no standards for computer ECG interpretation. Different techniques are used not only for measurement and interpretation, but also for transmission and storage of data. In order to fill these gaps, a large international project, sponsored by the European Commission, was launched in 1980 to develop “Common Standards for Quantitative Electrocardiography (CSE)”. The main objective of the first CSE study was to reduce the wide variation in wave measurements currently obtained by ECG computer programs. The second study was started in 1985 and aimed at the assessment and improvement of diagnostic classification of ECG interpretation programs. To this end reference libraries of well documented ECGs have been developed and comprehensive reviewing schemes devised for the visual and computer analysis of ECGs. This task was performed by a board of cardiologists in a Delphi review process, and by 9 VCG and 10 standard 12-lead programs developed by university research groups and by industry. A third action was started in June 1989 to harmonize acquisition, encoding, interchange and storing of digital ECG data. The action thus performed have become internationally recognized milestones for the standardization of quantitative electrocardiography.