Noninvasive Characterization of Intramural Myocardial Activation From Inverse-Reconstructed Epicardial Potentials and Electrograms
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Background—A recent study demonstrated the ability of electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI) to reconstruct, noninvasively, epicardial potentials, electrograms, and activation sequences (isochrones) generated by epicardial activation. The current study expands the earlier work to the three-dimensional myocardium and investigates the ability of ECGI to characterize intramural myocardial activation noninvasively and to relate it to the underlying fiber structure of the myocardium. This objective is motivated by the fact that cardiac excitation and arrhythmogenesis involve the three-dimensional ventricular wall and its anisotropic structure.
Methods and Results—Intramural activation was initiated by pacing a dog heart in a human torso tank. Body surface potentials (384 electrodes) were used to compute epicardial potentials noninvasively. Accuracy of reconstructed epicardial potentials was evaluated by direct comparison to measured ones (134 electrodes). Protocols included pacing from five intramural depths. Epicardial potentials showed characteristic patterns (1) early in activation, central negative region with two flanking maxima aligned with the orientation of fibers at the depth of pacing; (2) counterclockwise rotation of positive potentials with time for epicardial pacing, clockwise rotation for subendocardial pacing, and dual rotation for midmyocardial pacing; and (3) central positive region for endocardial pacing. Noninvasively reconstructed potentials closely approximated these patterns. Reconstructed epicardial electrograms and epicardial breakthrough times closely resembled measured ones, demonstrating progressively later epicardial activation with deeper pacing.
Conclusions—ECGI can noninvasively estimate the depth of intramyocardial electrophysiological events and provides information on the spread of excitation in the three-dimensional anisotropic myocardium on a beat-by-beat basis.
- Received June 10, 1997.
- Revision received October 23, 1997.
- Accepted November 13, 1997.
- Copyright © 1998 by American Heart Association