In an effort to standardize terminology and criteria for clinical electrocardiography, and as a follow-up of its work on definitions of terms related to cardiac rhythm, an Ad Hoc Working Group established by the World Health Organization and the International Society and Federation of Cardiology reviewed criteria for the diagnosis of conduction disturbances and pre-excitation. Recommendations resulting from these discussions are summarized for the diagnosis of complete and incomplete right and left bundle branch block, left anterior and left posterior fascicular block, nonspecific intraventricular block, Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome and related pre-excitation patterns. Criteria for intraatrial conduction disturbances are also briefly reviewed. The criteria are described in clinical terms. A concise description of the criteria using formal Boolean logic is given in the Appendix. For the incorporation into computer electrocardiographic analysis programs, the limits of some interval measurements may need to be adjusted.