The present study is focused on spectrum analysis as a useful method of processing the PCG in order to obtain the frequency spectral distribution of normal heart sounds. Thirty normal subjects aged from 17 to 34 were studied. PCG was recorded on the fourth intercostal space at the left sternal border using a sound level meter coupled with a standard 6 ml cavity. The microphone had a linear response from 0.2 to 8,000 Hz. The signal was filtered with the standard B network according to the ANSI specifications and was registered on a four track FM tape recorder. A four channel analyzer with a microprocessor for off-line elaborations was used with 10 KHz sampling frequency. The PCG signal was triggered by a QRS detector on the R wave of the simultaneously recorded ECG. Fast Fourier transform was performed employing either a four channel analyzer with a microprocessor, or an A/D converter with a computer. Finally the results of the analysis were statistically elaborated. The described procedures permit to obtain a direct and exact tracing of the acoustic features of the heart, thus representing an attempt to come closer to the standardization and automatic analysis of the phonocardiographic technique.
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