Database Open Access

MGH/MF Waveform Database

Published: June 10, 2002. Version: 1.0.0

When using this resource, please cite the original publication:

Welch JP, Ford PJ, Teplick RS, Rubsamen RM. The Massachusetts General Hospital-Marquette Foundation Hemodynamic and Electrocardiographic Database -- Comprehensive collection of critical care waveforms. J Clinical Monitoring 7(1):96-97 (1991).

Please include the standard citation for PhysioNet: (show more options)
Goldberger, A., Amaral, L., Glass, L., Hausdorff, J., Ivanov, P. C., Mark, R., ... & Stanley, H. E. (2000). PhysioBank, PhysioToolkit, and PhysioNet: Components of a new research resource for complex physiologic signals. Circulation [Online]. 101 (23), pp. e215–e220.


The Massachusetts General Hospital/Marquette Foundation (MGH/MF) Waveform Database is a comprehensive collection of electronic recordings of hemodynamic and electrocardiographic waveforms of stable and unstable patients in critical care units, operating rooms, and cardiac catheterization laboratories. It is the result of a collaboration between physicians, biomedical engineers and nurses at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The database consists of recordings from 250 patients and represents a broad spectrum of physiologic and pathophysiologic states. Individual recordings vary in length from 12 to 86 minutes, and in most cases are about an hour long.

Data Description

A Patient Guide provides additional information for each recording, including (as available) age, sex, diagnoses, pertinent medical history, ECG interpretation, ventilation, a timeline of events that occurred during the recording, and additional clinical observations.

The typical recording includes three ECG leads, arterial pressure, pulmonary arterial pressure, central venous pressure, respiratory impedance, and airway CO2 waveforms. Some recordings include intra-cranial, left atrial, ventricular and/or intra-aortic-balloon pressure waveforms. ECG calibration, pressure zero, pressure calibration, and pressure/catheter frequency response tests are also recorded. Relevant clinical data and events are documented for each file.

The original signals were recorded on 8-channel instrumentation tape and then digitized at twice real time using sample(1). The raw sampling rate of 1440 samples per second per signal was reduced by a factor of two to yield an effective rate of 360 samples per second per signal relative to real time. This approach permitted the use of low-order analog antialiasing in combination with high-order digital FIR antialiasing to minimize phase distortion in the digitized signals (see sample8.hea for the FIR coefficients).

Each record includes an annotation (.ari) file, which contains beat and event labels. The annotation files have been made available in their present form to aid users of the database in locating interesting features of the recordings. The current annotation files, although they have been prepared with care and substantial effort, are likely to contain a small number of errors.

The MGH/MF Waveform Database was originally distributed in unannotated form on instrumentation tape, and later in annotated digital form on a set of 10 CD-ROMs. The CD-ROMs included the software and documentation in the cape directory, relating to CAPE (Computer Aided Patient Emulator), a system designed by the creators of the database to permit real-time analog playback of the signals from a PC. A software-only demonstration version of CAPE is included; the full version of CAPE, including an ISA-bus PC card and additional software, may be available from Cardionics, Inc..

The original CD-ROMs contained three additional directories that are not included here. The bin and lib directories of the CD-ROMs contained early versions of several of the WFDB applications and of the WFDB library, precompiled for MS-DOS. Current versions of this software (provided here) run on a wide variety of modern operating systems and have been improved in numerous ways, and are also provided in source form for study, customization, or further development. The mitdb directory of the CD-ROMs contained a brief excerpt of record 100 from the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database; this excerpt is now available as record 100s in the data directory of the WFDB Software Package.


We thank Jeffrey Cooper and Penny Ford-Carleton of the Massachusetts General Hospital for arranging for these recordings to be made available via PhysioNet.


The files mgh026.hea, mgh175.hea, mgh196.hea, mgh199.hea, and mgh210.hea were corrected on 3 January 2017 so that the signal lengths stated in the header files match the size of their corresponding dat files. The file mgh210.dat was also truncated by 4 bits.


Access Policy:
Anyone can access the files, as long as they conform to the terms of the specified license.

License (for files):
Open Data Commons Attribution License v1.0

Corresponding Author
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Total uncompressed size: 4.2 GB.

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Folder Navigation: <base>/cape
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cape_v.pcx (download) 49.1 KB 2019-04-02
dbcal (download) 1.2 KB 2019-04-02 (download) 28.8 KB 2019-04-02
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