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I'm currently trying to parse the records captured from an ECG device and display them on a mobile application. I am wondering what the highest and lowest possible amplitude values for ECGs are in humans? What may happen if they exceed those values?

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  • $\begingroup$ Amplitudes are notoriously unreliable measures for biological potentials in general. They can vary widely from person to person and from test-to-test. What are you after? The uttermost limits possible? Note that recording artifacts may exceed the actual ECG. And what do you mean with they exceed those values? What is they? Which values? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Feb 11 '16 at 13:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Christiaan, sorry, I'm referring to the amplitudes. English is not my primary language. So what are the possible limits of these amplitudes? We're developing a software that will display these amplitudes and knowing the possible limits will greatly help us in displaying them. $\endgroup$ – eSPiYa Feb 11 '16 at 23:39
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The QRS complex is the part of the ECG with the largest amplitude.

enter image description here

I scanned a dozen ECG traces across the web, and as far as I can see, the QRS complex has amplitudes of up to 4 mV in a normal ECG:

enter image description here
ECG trace. 1 mm corresponds to 0.1 mV on the y-axis

Amplitudes are relative peak-to-peak measures. If you are asking about absolute values then the minimal voltage versus maximal absolute voltages depend on your baseline value, i.e., the offset in your voltage potential measurement system. Further, artifacts and background noise may add signal amplitudes on top of the ECG proper.

As an absolute minimum estimate, the graphs here posted show that -1 mV would be a safe minimal voltage.

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    $\begingroup$ As you mentioned this is the case for healthy ECGs, old infarcted areas (e.g. post MI) regularly cause these values to be exceeded - often with very prominent Q waves which I think would go beyond your suggested minimum voltage. $\endgroup$ – Rory M Feb 29 '16 at 22:48

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