Spatiotemporal approximation of cardiac activation and recovery isochrones

Matthijs Cluitmans*, Jaume Coll-Font, Burak Erem, Laura Bear, Uyên Châu Nguyên, Rachel Ter Bekke, Paul G A Volders, Dana Brooks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The sequence of myocardial activation and recovery can be studied in detail by invasive catheter recordings of cardiac electrograms (EGMs), or noninvasive inverse reconstructions thereof with electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI). Local activation and recovery times are obtained from a unipolar EGM by the moment of maximum downslope of the QRS complex or maximum upslope of the T wave, respectively. However, both invasive and noninvasive recordings of intracardiac EGMs may suffer from noise and fractionation, making reliable detection of these deflections nontrivial.

METHODS: Here, we introduce a novel method that benefits from the spatial coupling of these processes, and incorporate not only the temporal EGM deflection, but also the spatial gradients. We validated this approach in computer simulations, in animal data with ECGI and invasive electrode recordings, and illustrated its use in a clinical case.

RESULTS: In the simulated data, the spatiotemporal approach was able to incorporate spatial information to better select the correct deflection in artificially fractionated EGMs and outperformed the traditional temporal-only method. In experimental data, the accuracy of time estimation from ECGI compared to invasive recordings significantly increased from R = 0.73 (activation) and R = 0.58 (recovery) with the temporal-only method to R = 0.79 (activation) and R = 0.72 (recovery) with the novel approach. Localization of the pacing origin of paced beats improved significantly from 36 mm mean error with the temporal-only approach to 23 mm with the spatiotemporal approach.

CONCLUSION: The spatiotemporal method to compute activation and recovery times from EGMs outperformed the traditional temporal-only approach in which spatial information was not taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Early online date28 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Activation time
  • Recovery time
  • Signal processing
  • Unipolar electrograms


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