Far-field effect in unipolar electrograms revisited: High-density mapping of atrial fibrillation in humans

Piotr Podziemski, Pawel Kuklik, Arne van Hunnik, Stef Zeemering, Bart Maesen, Ulrich Schotten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Unipolar electrogram can detect local as well as remote electrical activity of the heart. Information on how the amplitude and morphology of the recorded signal changes with the distance from the source tissue undergoing depolarization can help to better understand unipolar electrograms fractionation and provide insights into the passive conduction properties of the atrial tissue. Ten second unipolar atrial fibrillation (AF) electrograms were recorded using high-density electrode array from the posterior left atrium (LA) and right atrium (RA) of 19 (8 persistent - PERS & 11 paroxysmal - PAF) AF patients undergoing cardiac surgery. Conduction along lines of conduction block was detected in the recorded activation patterns by a proposed automated algorithm. Changes of the amplitude of the unipolar electrogram with increasing distance from the conduction blocks were assessed and compared to predictions of a theoretical model. For each recording, the median far-field decay space constant (FF0.5) was calculated. Overall, we found a significant difference between FF0.5 for patients with paroxysmal and persistent AF. Estimation of maximum FF0.5 from both RA and LA resulted in a mean FF0.5 of 1.5±0.2 mm for PERS patients and 2.1±0.6 mm for PAF patients (p=0.03). Moreover, detected conduction blocks demonstrated high spatial organization and appeared in distinctive areas of the mapped area in all patients, regardless of the type of AF, while the total number of detected block lines was higher in PERS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5680-3
Number of pages4
JournalIEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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