A three-dimensional human atrial model with fiber orientation. Electrograms and arrhythmic activation patterns relationship.
ABSTRACT: The most common sustained cardiac arrhythmias in humans are atrial tachyarrhythmias, mainly atrial fibrillation. Areas of complex fractionated atrial electrograms and high dominant frequency have been proposed as critical regions for maintaining atrial fibrillation; however, there is a paucity of data on the relationship between the characteristics of electrograms and the propagation pattern underlying them. In this study, a realistic 3D computer model of the human atria has been developed to investigate this relationship. The model includes a realistic geometry with fiber orientation, anisotropic conductivity and electrophysiological heterogeneity. We simulated different tachyarrhythmic episodes applying both transient and continuous ectopic activity. Electrograms and their dominant frequency and organization index values were calculated over the entire atrial surface. Our simulations show electrograms with simple potentials, with little or no cycle length variations, narrow frequency peaks and high organization index values during stable and regular activity as the observed in atrial flutter, atrial tachycardia (except in areas of conduction block) and in areas closer to ectopic activity during focal atrial fibrillation. By contrast, cycle length variations and polymorphic electrograms with single, double and fragmented potentials were observed in areas of irregular and unstable activity during atrial fibrillation episodes. Our results also show: (1) electrograms with potentials without negative deflection related to spiral or curved wavefronts that pass over the recording point and move away, (2) potentials with a much greater proportion of positive deflection than negative in areas of wave collisions, (3) double potentials related with wave fragmentations or blocking lines and (4) fragmented electrograms associated with pivot points. Our model is the first human atrial model with realistic fiber orientation used to investigate the relationship between different atrial arrhythmic propagation patterns and the electrograms observed at more than 43000 points on the atrial surface.
Project description:There is evidence that rotors could be drivers that maintain atrial fibrillation. Complex fractionated atrial electrograms have been located in rotor tip areas. However, the concept of electrogram fractionation, defined using time intervals, is still controversial as a tool for locating target sites for ablation. We hypothesize that the fractionation phenomenon is better described using non-linear dynamic measures, such as approximate entropy, and that this tool could be used for locating the rotor tip. The aim of this work has been to determine the relationship between approximate entropy and fractionated electrograms, and to develop a new tool for rotor mapping based on fractionation levels. Two episodes of chronic atrial fibrillation were simulated in a 3D human atrial model, in which rotors were observed. Dynamic approximate entropy maps were calculated using unipolar electrogram signals generated over the whole surface of the 3D atrial model. In addition, we optimized the approximate entropy calculation using two real multi-center databases of fractionated electrogram signals, labeled in 4 levels of fractionation. We found that the values of approximate entropy and the levels of fractionation are positively correlated. This allows the dynamic approximate entropy maps to localize the tips from stable and meandering rotors. Furthermore, we assessed the optimized approximate entropy using bipolar electrograms generated over a vicinity enclosing a rotor, achieving rotor detection. Our results suggest that high approximate entropy values are able to detect a high level of fractionation and to locate rotor tips in simulated atrial fibrillation episodes. We suggest that dynamic approximate entropy maps could become a tool for atrial fibrillation rotor mapping.
Project description:Little is known about the relationship between intrinsic cardiac nerve activity (ICNA) and spontaneous arrhythmias in ambulatory animals.We implanted radiotransmitters to record extrinsic cardiac nerve activity (ECNA; including stellate ganglion nerve activity and vagal nerve activity) and ICNA (including superior left ganglionated plexi nerve activity and ligament of Marshall nerve activity) in 6 ambulatory dogs. Intermittent rapid left atrial pacing was performed to induce paroxysmal atrial fibrillation or atrial tachycardia. The vast majority (94%) of ligament of Marshall nerve activity were preceded by or coactivated with ECNA (stellate ganglion nerve activity or vagal nerve activity), whereas 6% of episodes were activated alone without concomitant stellate ganglion nerve activity or vagal nerve activity. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation and atrial tachycardia were invariably (100%) preceded (<5 seconds) by ICNA. Most paroxysmal atrial tachycardia events (89%) were preceded by ICNA and sympathovagal coactivation, whereas 11% were preceded by ICNA and stellate ganglion nerve activity-only activation. Most paroxysmal atrial fibrillation events were preceded only by ICNA (72%); the remaining 28% were preceded by ECNA and ICNA together. Complex fractionated atrial electrograms were observed during ICNA discharges that preceded the onset of paroxysmal atrial tachycardia and atrial fibrillation. Immunostaining confirmed the presence of both adrenergic and cholinergic nerve at ICNA sites.There is a significant temporal relationship between ECNA and ICNA. However, ICNA can also activate alone. All paroxysmal atrial tachycardia and atrial fibrillation episodes were invariably preceded by ICNA. These findings suggest that ICNA (either alone or in collaboration with ECNA) is an invariable trigger of paroxysmal atrial tachyarrhythmias. ICNA might contaminate local atrial electrograms, resulting in complex fractionated atrial electrogram-like activity.
Project description:Atrial fibrillation, a common cardiac arrhythmia, often progresses unfavourably: in patients with long-term atrial fibrillation, fibrillatory episodes are typically of increased duration and frequency of occurrence relative to healthy controls. This is due to electrical, structural, and contractile remodeling processes. We investigated mechanisms of how electrical and structural remodeling contribute to perpetuation of simulated atrial fibrillation, using a mathematical model of the human atrial action potential incorporated into an anatomically realistic three-dimensional structural model of the human atria. Electrical and structural remodeling both shortened the atrial wavelength--electrical remodeling primarily through a decrease in action potential duration, while structural remodeling primarily slowed conduction. The decrease in wavelength correlates with an increase in the average duration of atrial fibrillation/flutter episodes. The dependence of reentry duration on wavelength was the same for electrical vs. structural remodeling. However, the dynamics during atrial reentry varied between electrical, structural, and combined electrical and structural remodeling in several ways, including: (i) with structural remodeling there were more occurrences of fragmented wavefronts and hence more filaments than during electrical remodeling; (ii) dominant waves anchored around different anatomical obstacles in electrical vs. structural remodeling; (iii) dominant waves were often not anchored in combined electrical and structural remodeling. We conclude that, in simulated atrial fibrillation, the wavelength dependence of reentry duration is similar for electrical and structural remodeling, despite major differences in overall dynamics, including maximal number of filaments, wave fragmentation, restitution properties, and whether dominant waves are anchored to anatomical obstacles or spiralling freely.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The use of intracardiac electrograms to guide atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation has yielded conflicting results. OBJECTIVES:The authors evaluated the usefulness of spatiotemporal dispersion, a visually recognizable electric footprint of AF drivers, for the ablation of all forms of AF. METHODS:The authors prospectively enrolled 105 patients admitted for AF ablation. AF was sequentially mapped in both atria with a 20-pole PentaRay catheter. The authors tagged and ablated only regions displaying electrogram dispersion during AF. Results were compared to a validation set in which a conventional ablation approach was used (pulmonary vein isolation/stepwise approach). To establish the mechanism underlying spatiotemporal dispersion of AF electrograms, the authors conducted realistic numerical simulations of AF drivers in a 2-dimensional model and optical mapping of ovine atrial scar-related AF. RESULTS:Ablation at dispersion areas terminated AF in 95% of the 105 patients. After ablation of 17 ± 10% of the left atrial surface and 18 months of follow-up, the atrial arrhythmia recurrence rate was 15% after 1.4 ± 0.5 procedures per patient versus 41% in the validation set after 1.5 ± 0.5 procedures per patient (arrhythmia free-survival: 85% vs. 59%; log-rank p < 0.001). Compared with the validation set, radiofrequency times (49 ± 21 min vs. 85 ± 34.5 min; p = 0.001) and procedure times (168 ± 42 min vs. 230 ± 67 min; p < 0.0001) were shorter. In simulations and optical mapping experiments, virtual PentaRay recordings demonstrated that electrogram dispersion is mostly recorded in the vicinity of a driver. CONCLUSIONS:The clustering of intracardiac electrograms exhibiting spatiotemporal dispersion is indicative of AF drivers. Their ablation allows for a nonextensive and patient-tailored approach to AF ablation. (Substrate Ablation Guided by High Density Mapping in Atrial Fibrillation [SUBSTRATE HD]; NCT02093949).
Project description:Ablation of high dominant frequency (DF) sources in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) is an effective treatment option for paroxysmal AF. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of noninvasive estimation of DF and electrical patterns determination by solving the inverse problem of the electrocardiography.Four representative AF patients with left-to-right and right-to-left atrial DF patterns were included in the study. For each patient, intracardiac electrograms from both atria were recorded simultaneously together with 67-lead body surface recordings. In addition to clinical recordings, realistic mathematical models of atria and torso anatomy with different DF patterns of AF were used. For both mathematical models and clinical recordings, inverse-computed electrograms were compared to intracardiac electrograms in terms of voltage, phase, and frequency spectrum relative errors.Comparison between intracardiac and inverse computed electrograms for AF patients showed 8.8 ± 4.4% errors for DF, 32 ± 4% for voltage, and 65 ± 4% for phase determination. These results were corroborated by mathematical simulations showing that the inverse problem solution was able to reconstruct the frequency spectrum and the DF maps with relative errors of 5.5 ± 4.1%, whereas the reconstruction of the electrograms or the instantaneous phase presented larger relative errors (i.e., 38 ± 15% and 48 ± 14 % respectively, P < 0.01).Noninvasive reconstruction of atrial frequency maps can be achieved by solving the inverse problem of electrocardiography with a higher accuracy than temporal distribution patterns.
Project description:Atrial fibrillation is the most common rhythm disorder of the heart associated with a rapid and irregular beating of the upper chambers. Activation mapping remains the gold standard to diagnose and interpret atrial fibrillation. However, fibrillatory activation maps are highly sensitive to far-field effects, and often disagree with other optical mapping modalities. Here we show that computational modeling can identify spurious non-local components of atrial fibrillation electrograms and improve activation mapping. We motivate our approach with a cohort of patients with potential drivers of persistent atrial fibrillation. In a computational study using a monodomain Maleckar model, we demonstrate that in organized rhythms, electrograms successfully track local activation, whereas in atrial fibrillation, electrograms are sensitive to spiral wave distance and number, spiral tip trajectories, and effects of fibrosis. In a clinical study, we analyzed n = 15 patients with persistent atrial fibrillation that was terminated by limited ablation. In five cases, traditional activation maps revealed a spiral wave at sites of termination; in ten cases, electrogram timings were ambiguous and activation maps showed incomplete reentry. By adjusting electrogram timing through computational modeling, we found rotational activation, which was undetectable with conventional methods. Our results demonstrate that computational modeling can identify non-local deflections to improve activation mapping and explain how and where ablation can terminate persistent atrial fibrillation. Our hybrid computational/physiological approach has the potential to optimize map-guided ablation and improve ablation therapy in atrial fibrillation.
Project description:BACKGROUND AND AIMS:Discrete potentials, low voltage and fragmented electrograms, have been previously reported at ablation site, in patients with premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) originating in the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT). The aim of this study was to review the electrograms at ablation site and assess the presence of diastolic potentials and their association with success. METHODS:We retrospectively reviewed the electrograms obtained at the radiofrequency (RF) delivery sites of 48 patients subjected to ablation of RVOT frequent PVCs. We assessed the duration and amplitude of local electrogram, local activation time, and presence of diastolic potentials and fragmented electrograms. RESULTS:We reviewed 134 electrograms, median 2 (1-4) per patient. Success was achieved in 40 patients (83%). At successful sites the local activation time was earlier- 54 (-35 to -77) ms vs -26 (-12 to -35) ms, p<0.0001; the local electrogram had lower amplitude 1 (0.45-1.15) vs 1.5 (0.5-2.1) mV, p = 0.006, and longer duration 106 (80-154) vs 74 (60-90) ms, p<0.0001. Diastolic potentials and fragmented electrograms were more frequently present, respectively 76% vs 9%, p <0.0001 and 54% vs 11%, p<0.0001. In univariable analysis these variables were all associated with success. In multivariable analysis only the presence of diastolic potentials [OR 15.5 (95% CI: 3.92-61.2; p<0.0001)], and the value of local activation time [OR 1.11 (95% CI: 1.049-1.172 p<0.0001)], were significantly associated with success. CONCLUSION:In this group of patients the presence of diastolic potentials at the ablation site was associated with success.
Project description:Background:Atrial coronary branch occlusion is a hardly recognizable clinical entity that can promote atrial fibrillation. The low diagnostic accuracy of the ECG could deal with the characteristics of the ischemia-induced changes in local atrial electrograms, but these have not been described. Objectives:We analyzed the effects of selective acute atrial branch occlusion on local myocardial structure, atrial electrograms, and surface ECG in an experimental model close to human cardiac anatomy and electrophysiology. Methods:Six anesthetized open-chest anesthetized pigs underwent surgical occlusion of an atrial coronary branch arising from the right coronary artery during 4 h. Atrial electrograms and ECG were simultaneously recorded. One additional pig acted as sham control. In all cases, the hearts were processed for anatomopathological analysis. Results:Atrial branch occlusion induced patchy atrial necrosis with sharp border zone. During the first 30 min of occlusion, atrial electrograms showed progressive R wave enlargement (1.8 ± 0.6 mV vs. 2.5 ± 1.1 mV, p < 0.01), delayed local activation times (28.5 ± 8.9 ms vs. 36.1 ± 16.4 ms, p < 0.01), ST segment elevation (-0.3 ± 0.3 mV vs. 1.0 ± 1.0 mV, p < 0.01), and presence of monophasic potentials. Atrial ST segment elevation decreased after 2 h of occlusion. The electrical border zone was ?1 mm and expanded over time. After 2 h of occlusion, the ECG showed a decrease in P wave amplitude (from 0.09 ± 0.04 mV to 0.05 ± 0.04 mV after 165 min occlusion, p < 0.05) and duration (64.4 ± 8.0 ms vs. 80.9 ± 12.6 ms, p < 0.01). Conclusion:Selective atrial branch occlusion induces patchy atrial infarction and characteristic changes in atrial activation, R/S wave, and ST segment that are not discernible at the ECG. Only indirect changes in P wave amplitude and duration were appreciated in advanced stages of acute coronary occlusion.
Project description:Consistent detection of rotor(s) and/or focal impulse(s) of atrial fibrillation can using a 64-pole basket catheter remain unclear.Intracardiac left atrial electrograms were recorded, prior to ablation, in 20 patients with atrial fibrillation. Unipolar electrograms, filtered at 0.1-300 Hz, were recorded and exported for an offline phase analysis. From the cohort, 8 of the 20 patients had analyzable data. Localized rotors were identified in 3 of these patients, with focal impulses detected in 4 patients.Localized rotors and focal impulses can be identified on phase maps of atrial fibrillation in a small number of patients.
Project description:Using unipolar atrial electrogram morphology as guidance for ablative therapy is regaining interest. Although standardly used in clinical practice during ablative therapy, the impact of filter settings on morphology of unipolar AF potentials is unknown. Thirty different filters were applied to 2,557,045 high-resolution epicardial AF potentials recorded from ten patients. Deflections with slope ??-?0.05 mV/ms and amplitude ??0.3 mV were marked. High-pass filtering decreased the number of detected potentials, deflection amplitude, and percentage of fractionated potentials (??2 deflections) as well as fractionation delay time (FDT) and increased percentage of single potentials. Low-pass filtering decreased the number of potentials, percentage of fractionated potentials, whereas deflection amplitude, percentage of single potentials, and FDT increased. Notch filtering (50 Hz) decreased the number of potentials and deflection amplitude, whereas the percentage of complex fractionated potentials (??3 deflections) increased. Filtering significantly impacted morphology of unipolar fibrillation potentials, becoming a potential source of error in identification of ablative targets. Graphical Abstract Impact of filtering on morphology of unipolar AF potentials. High-pass, low-pass and notch filters were applied to 2,557,045 high-resolution epicardial AF potentials recorded from ten patients. Filtering significantly impacted AF potential morphology, i.e., number of detected potentials, peak-to-peak amplitude, number of deflections, and fractionation delay time. CFP, complex fractionated potential (??3 deflections); DP, double potential (two deflections); FDT, fractionation delay time; SP, single potential (one deflection).