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September 1967

Loops for the Lost: An Introductory Lesson for Vector-Electrocardiographic Enjoyment (If Not Proficiency and Accuracy)

Arch Intern Med. 1967;120(3):293-297. doi:10.1001/archinte.1967.00300030035007

ALTHOUGH vector-electrocardiography has done much to improve the understanding and, hence, the teaching of electrocardiography, it has unnecessarily confused many scalar electrocardiographers. Currently, it appears that the vector-cardiographer has placed himself into an almost invulnerable vectorial fortress (Fig 1). The purpose of this paper, then, is to cross the bridge and enter the vectorial fortress. This introduction, it is hoped, will make the vectorcardiogram meaningful to many who may be looking for a quick foundation in loop logic.

As is well known, the electrocardiogram consists of three separate complexes (the P wave, the QRS complex, and the T wave) which respectively correspond to depolarization of the atria, depolarization of the ventricles, and repolarization of the ventricles. Similarly, the vectorcardiogram consists of a P loop, a QRS loop, and a T loop. To serve the purpose of an introduction, we will concentrate on the QRS loop and will not discuss or