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Definition : Cardiographs designed for recording the variations of the biomagnetic field caused by the electrical activity of the heart muscle detected externally from the body. The magnetic field is picked up with superconductive coils (or gradiometers) externally from the body and then detected with very sensitive sensors, such as an array of superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs). The SQUIDs are housed in a cryogenic container (known as a Dewar). After enhancing the signal-to-noise ratio the detected signals are amplified and displayed as magnetic field and/or electric current maps. The equipment also includes a computerized unit with dedicated software (a workstation) to process the magnetic signals; magnetocardiographs should be used inside magnetic shielded locations. Magnetocardiographs are mainly used to localize sources of arrhythmia, diagnose fetal cardiac disorders, and screen for ischemic heart diseases; they are not intended for real-time assessment of cardiac conditions.

Entry Terms : "Cardiographs, Biomagnetic Field"

UMDC code : 12416

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