Noninvasive three-dimensional electrocardiographic imaging of ventricular activation sequence.
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Am. J. Physiol. Heart Circ. Physiol. 289 (6): H2724--H2732 (December 2005)

Imaging the myocardial activation sequence is critical for improved diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias. It is desirable to reveal the underlying cardiac electrical activity throughout the three-dimensional (3-D) myocardium (rather than just the endocardial or epicardial surface) from noninvasive body surface potential measurements. A new 3-D electrocardiographic imaging technique (3-DEIT) based on the boundary element method (BEM) and multiobjective nonlinear optimization has been applied to reconstruct the cardiac activation sequences from body surface potential maps. Ultrafast computerized tomography scanning was performed for subsequent construction of the torso and heart models. Experimental studies were then conducted, during left and right ventricular pacing, in which noninvasive assessment of ventricular activation sequence by means of 3-DEIT was performed simultaneously with 3-D intracardiac mapping (up to 200 intramural sites) using specially designed plunge-needle electrodes in closed-chest rabbits. Estimated activation sequences from 3-DEIT were in good agreement with those constructed from simultaneously recorded intracardiac electrograms in the same animals. Averaged over 100 paced beats (from a total of 10 pacing sites), total activation times were comparable (53.3 +/- 8.1 vs. 49.8 +/- 5.2 ms), the localization error of site of initiation of activation was 5.73 +/- 1.77 mm, and the relative error between the estimated and measured activation sequences was 0.32 +/- 0.06. The present experimental results demonstrate that the 3-D paced ventricular activation sequence can be reconstructed by using noninvasive multisite body surface electrocardiographic measurements and imaging of heart-torso geometry. This new 3-D electrocardiographic imaging modality has the potential to guide catheter-based ablative interventions for the treatment of life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias.
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