Noninvasive assessment of dynamic cardiac electrophysiology in normal human subjects

J. Stoks, B.D. Van Rees, U.C. Nguyen, R.L.M. Peeters, P. Dendale, M.J.M. Cluitmans, P.G.A. Volders

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Abstract/Poster in journalAcademic


Introduction Electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI) has been used to investigate arrhythmia mechanisms in various conditions. Data on normal human subjects, especially in Europe, are scarce. Dynamic characteristics of ventricular activation and recovery during sinus rhythm have not been assessed before. Purpose To examine cardiac electrophysiology and its dynamic aspects in normal subjects using ECGI, in order to provide a range of normal patterns and values for activation (AT) and recovery times (RT), activation-recovery intervals (ARI, a surrogate for action potential duration) and their dynamicity. Methods 11 Subjects (age 57±7 years, 27% male, all normal LVEF) with atypical chest pain who underwent a cardiac CT-scan as part of clinical care but who were negative for any pathology on full examination were included. A validated non-commercial potential-based formulation of ECGI was used to reconstruct unipolar electrograms (EGMs) on the epicardial surface for three sinus beats within minutes from each other, per individual. ATs and RTs were determined as the maximum negative upslope during QRS, and maximum positive upslope during T wave of the local EGMs. Additionally, we determined locations of first and last activation and recovery. Inter- and intra-individual differences were computed. Results Subjects had normal 12-lead characteristics without ST-deviations, and an average QTc interval of 415±18ms. Figure 1, panel A shows ECGI during sinus rhythm for 3 representative subjects, and panel B summarizes all findings on the entire epicardium. The first epicardial activation breakthrough typically occurred on the right ventricle (RV), consistent with the concept that the thinner RV wall accounts for a faster transmural activation. Last activation was mostly on the base of the left ventricle (LV), on the inferior to lateral wall. Earliest recovery occurred predominantly on the anterior surface, while latest recovery occurred on the inferior surface. Complete activation of the epicardial surface (from earliest to latest AT) took 41±8ms, while recovery (earliest AT to latest RT) took 317±24ms and average ARI (local AT to local RT) took 232±23ms. Thus, inter-individual variation of recovery duration was higher than of activation. Intra-individual differences between beats in ATs, RTs and ARIs of distinct sinus beats were small (2.3±3.1ms, 9.7±8.8ms and 9.8±9.1ms, respectively) suggesting that ECGI enables stable reconstruction quality (Figure 1, panel C). Conclusion In this cohort, noninvasive ECGI provides novel insights in ventricular electrophysiology. Electrical recovery is more variable than activation, both intra-individually and inter-individually. Overall, AT, RT and ARI differences between sinus beats were low. ECGI appears suitable to assess dynamic electrical patterns during cardiac pathology. Figure 1 Funding Acknowledgement Type of funding source: None
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3596-3596
Number of pages1
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue numberS2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2020


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