[MARMAM] Diving Mammal ECGs

Clark, James james.2.clark at kcl.ac.uk
Tue Dec 22 02:29:26 PST 2009

Dear all

I need to locate someone who has access to good quality ECG telemetry recordings during a dive and who might be interested in a collaboration.

I am a cardiac physiologist working in London and we have made some very interesting observations on changes in ECG morphology during the diving response in humans.  The problem with most humans is that they cannot hold their breath for very long (and the diving response is weak)!  We would like to see if the morphological changes in the ECG persist during a prolonged (>3 or 4 minutes) dive in a 'proper' diving mammal.

Would anyone out there have good quality telemetry data that they could share as part of a collaboration?  Many people clearly telemeter diving mammals and record ECGs. The question is does anyone have suitable data they would be willing to share for our project that is almost certainly unrelated to their original aims!

Ideally, the data we need would be digitised (then it could be e-mailed easily) and it would have to meet a number of criteria to be useful to us.  We would need -

(i) digitised data (ideally).
(ii) the sampling speed needs to be sufficiently fast to be able to resolve the individual components of the ECG ie the P wave, QRS complex and and T wave all need to be reasonably resolved.  This means a minimum sampling speed of say 400Hz but ideally 1kHz.
(iii) the signal to noise ratio needs to be good enough for us to measure ECG intervals. My guess is that many traces are contaminated by skeletal muscle artefacts. These would have to be sufficiently small for us to still identify the individual components of the ECG wave-form from the noise.
(iv) we would need some baseline data of the animal on the surface, and then during a sustained dive lasting ideally at least 3 minutes (ideally longer!).  During our ideal dive the animal would show a strong steady and sustained bradycardia.

I am certain that, pooled with our human data, we could get a very nice publication out of this quite easily. So, if anyone out there has any suitable recordings or has the prospect of getting any in the near future, would you be interested in a collaboration?  If so, please e-mail me on michael.shattock at kcl.ac.uk<mailto:michael.shattock at kcl.ac.uk> (or James.2.clark at kcl.ac.uk<mailto:James.2.clark at kcl.ac.uk>)

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes for Christmas and 2010.

Mike Shattock and Dr James Clark


Michael Shattock, PhD
Professor of Cellular Cardiology
Cardiovascular Division
The Rayne Institute
4th Floor, Lambeth Wing
St Thomas' Hospital
London SE1 7EH
United Kingdom

Tel:  +44 (0)20 7188 0945
Fax: +44 (0)20-7188-0970
Mob: +44-7973-633753
e-mail:  michael.shattock at kcl.ac.uk<mailto:michael.shattock at kcl.ac.uk>


James Edward Clark, BSc (Hons) PhD
BHF Intermediate Research Fellow
Kings Business Innovation Fellow

Cardiovascular Division
The BHF Centre,
The Rayne Institute, King's College
4th Floor Lambeth Wing
St Thomas' Hospital
London. SE1 7EH

Tel:          +44 (0) 20 7188 0966
Fax:         +44 (0) 20 7188 0970
e-mail:    james.2.clark at kcl.ac.uk
URL:        www.kcl.ac.uk

King's College London is part of King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC), a pioneering collaboration between King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts.

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