European data format 'plus' (EDF+), an EDF alike standard format for the exchange of physiological data

Clin Neurophysiol. 2003 Sep;114(9):1755-61. doi: 10.1016/s1388-2457(03)00123-8.


The European data format (EDF) is a widely accepted standard for exchange of electroencephalogram and polysomnogram data between different equipment and labs. But it hardly accommodates other investigations. EDF+ is a more flexible but still simple format which is compatible to EDF except that an EDF+ file may contain interrupted recordings. Also, EDF+ supports time-stamped annotations for the storage of events such as text annotations, stimuli, averaged signals, electrocardiogram parameters, apnoeas and so on. When compared to EDF, EDF+ can not only store annotations but also electromyography, evoked potentials, electroneurography, electrocardiography and many more types of investigations. Further improvements over EDF include the use of standard electrode names. EDF+ is so much like EDF that existing EDF viewers still display the signals in EDF+ files. Software development is limited mainly to implementing the annotations. EDF+ offers a format for a wide range of neurophysiological investigations which can become a standard within a few years.

MeSH terms

  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Electroencephalography / standards*
  • Electromyography
  • Europe
  • Evoked Potentials
  • Information Storage and Retrieval*
  • Information Systems
  • Polysomnography / standards*
  • Software