This paper presents an algorithm for the detection of fiducial points in electrocardiogram (ECG) waves using iteration based adaptive thresholds. By setting the search range of the processing frame to the interval between two consecutive R peaks, the peaks of T and P waves are used as reference salient points (RSPs) to detect the fiducial points. The RSPs are selected from candidates whose slope variation factors are larger than iteratively defined adaptive thresholds. Considering the fact that the number of RSPs varies depending on whether the ECG wave is normal or not, the proposed algorithm proceeds with a different methodology for determining fiducial points based on the number of detected RSPs. Testing was performed using twelve records from the MIT-BIH Arrhythmia Database that were manually marked for comparison with the estimated locations of the fiducial points. The means of absolute distances between the true locations and the points estimated by the algorithm are 12.2 ms and 7.9 ms for the starting points of P and Q waves, and 9.3 ms and 13.9 ms for the ending points of S and T waves. Since the computational complexity of the proposed algorithm is very low, it is feasible for use in mobile devices.