MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database Directory

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Foreword [from the first edition]

For a number of years our group has been investigating methods for real-time ECG rhythm analysis. In the course of this work, we have developed an extensive annotated digital ECG database. The database has been enormously helpful to us in algorithm development and evaluation. The creation of this resource required a major effort, and was funded, in part, by both government and industry. We feel it is highly desirable to make this database available to other academic and industrial groups, and hence have prepared it for distribution. This catalog contains detailed descriptions of the database tapes.

We acknowledge with gratitude the many dedicated hours of work which went into this project on the part of cardiologists, Holter technicians, laboratory assistants, and engineers in our laboratories at MIT and at Beth Israel Hospital. We also acknowledge the help of our colleagues at Washington University, St. Louis (particularly Russell Hermes) in assuring a compatible data format. We especially wish to recognize:

Roger Mark
Walter Olson

Cambridge, Massachusetts
September, 1980

Notes on the second edition

During the eight years since we first published this book, nearly one hundred academic and industrial research groups worldwide have used the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database. We thank these organizations for their support.

In addition to those listed above, we also wish to recognize the contributions of:

In lieu of reprinting the first edition of this volume, we have made use of modern printing technology to produce a far more readable and complete record of the contents of the database.

In June, 1987, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation published its Recommended Practice for Testing and Reporting Performance Results of Ventricular Arrhythmia Detection Algorithms (AAMI ECAR-1987), which may be obtained from AAMI, 3330 Washington Boulevard, Suite 400, Arlington, VA 22201. The MIT-BIH and AHA Databases provide developers and evaluators of arrhythmia detectors with standard test data; the AAMI Recommended Practice provides guidelines for using these databases in a standard way, and for describing detector performance in a manner that facilitates comparisons between detectors. We urge all users of our database to follow the AAMI recommendations when preparing performance statistics for publication.

A package of C-language software for using the MIT-BIH and AHA Databases is available from MIT. The package includes programs for plotting ECGs with annotations, sampling rate conversion, and beat-by-beat comparison of annotation files following the AAMI recommended practice, as well as a variety of other useful programs. All the programs access the database via a common library of subroutines, which are also provided as part of the package and which may be used with user programs.

We have made several other sets of ECG recordings available, including specialized databases for ventricular fibrillation, atrial fibrillation, and ST segment changes. These databases are not annotated beat-by-beat.

George Moody
Roger Mark

Cambridge, Massachusetts
August, 1988

Notes on the third edition

Since the publication of the second edition, the database has been made available in CD-ROM format. Continued strong interest in the database has made it possible to prepare a second edition of the CD-ROM and a third edition of this book. The CD-ROM includes the additional specialized databases mentioned above, and the second edition of the CD-ROM also contains the software package mentioned above.

Compatible databases of ECGs and other physiologic signals are beginning to appear. Of particular interest to users of our database is the European ST-T Database, which consists of ninety two-hour ECG recordings with beats, rhythms, and signal quality annotated as in the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database, and with additional annotations to indicate ST and T-wave morphology changes. For information, write to: CNR Institute of Clinical Physiology, Computer Laboratory, via Trieste, 41, 56100 Pisa, Italy.

I wish to thank all of those who have supported this project over these years, especially Roger Mark, who has guided it from its inception in 1975.

George Moody

Cambridge, Massachusetts
July, 1992

Notes on this HTML edition

Although the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database has been available for almost 17 years at this writing, it remains in demand among researchers and instrument developers. This edition of the Directory accompanies the third edition of the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database CD-ROM; it is the first to appear in hypertext form.

If you have installed Netscape on your system, and have set up as a Netscape helper application either wavescript (see Controlling WAVE from a web browser) or wvscript (see Setting up WVSCRIPT), you may follow the links from this guide to the records.

Once again, I wish to thank everyone who has supported this project through their continued interest in this database.

George B. Moody (

24 May 1997 (Links updated 11 November 1999 for PhysioNet)