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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2011;2011:4780-3. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2011.6091184.

Can driven-right-leg circuits increase interference in ECG amplifiers?

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Department of Electronic Engineering EETAC-UPC, 08860 Castelldefels, Barcelona, Spain.


The Driven-Right-Leg (DRL) circuit has been used for about 50 years to reduce interference due to common-mode voltage in biopotential amplifiers in scenarios that range from fixed equipment supplied from power lines to battery-supplied ambulatory monitors, and for systems that use gelled, dry, textile, and capacitive electrodes. However, power-line interference models predict that for isolation amplifiers, currently mandated by safety standards, power-line interference can often couple mostly in differential mode rather than in common mode. In this work we analyze the effect of the DRL circuit in different ECG leads to elucidate its actual effect on power-line interference reduction. It turns out that that the DRL circuit, which effectively reduces common-mode interference, affects differential-mode interference in an unpredictable way and can increase interference.

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