Telemetry of ECG signals from conscious freely moving animals has both advantages and disadvantages. Among the advantages is the ability to collect a large amount of data. Telemetry ECG collection is generally done for hours or days of continuous recording. Traditional “hard wired” collection is most often done for no more than a few minutes and the animals are restrained by physical or chemical means and the animals are placed in a standard position. Telemetry allows the researcher to collect data in a non-restrained animal throughout the experiment. Continuous recording provides a better overall understanding of any changes to ECG intervals than is possible using hard wired recordings.
One of the limitations of telemetry ECG collection is the loss of ability to evaluate ECG waveform amplitudes. While intervals (PR, ST, and QT) are very accurate in telemetry collection, amplitudes such as ST depression, ST elevation, or R height are not scientifically useful, as amplitudes rely on the animals being static in a standard position such as right lateral recumbency or supine. Additionally amplitude analysis is most accurate when multiple leads are available. For these reasons, we do not advise reporting of any amplitude parameters as the information collected is not reliable due to the aforementioned reasons.