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The possibility of interference by low-frequency external electric fields with cardiac pacemakers is a matter of practical concern. For pragmatic reasons, experimental investigations into such interference have used contact electrode current sources. However, the applicability to the external electric field problem remains unclear. The recent development of anatomically based electromagnetic models of the human body, together with progress in computational electromagnetics, enable the use of numerical modeling to quantify the relationship between external field and contact electrode excitation. This paper presents a comparison between the computed fields induced in a 3.6-mm-resolution conductivity model of the human body by an external electric field and by several electrode source configurations involving the feet and either the head or shoulders. The application to cardiac pacemaker interference is also indicated.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2000