Automatic identification of a stable QRST complex for non-invasive evaluation of human cardiac electrophysiology.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:A vectorcardiography approach to electrocardiology contributes to the non-invasive assessment of electrical heterogeneity in the ventricles of the heart and to risk stratification for cardiac events including sudden cardiac death. The aim of this study was to develop an automatic method that identifies a representative QRST complex (QRSonset to Tend) from a Frank vectorcardiogram (VCG). This method should provide reliable measurements of morphological VCG parameters and signal when such measurements required manual scrutiny. METHODS:Frank VCG was recorded in a population-based sample of 1094 participants (550 women) 50-65 years old as part of the Swedish CArdioPulmonary bioImage Study (SCAPIS) pilot. Standardized supine rest allowing heart rate stabilization and adaptation of ventricular repolarization preceded a recording period lasting ?5 minutes. In the Frank VCG a recording segment during steady-state conditions and with good signal quality was selected based on QRST variability. In this segment a representative signal-averaged QRST complex from cardiac cycles during 10s was selected. Twenty-eight morphological parameters were calculated including both conventional conduction intervals and VCG-derived parameters. The reliability and reproducibility of these parameters were evaluated when using completely automatic and automatic but manually edited annotation points. RESULTS:In 1080 participants (98.7%) our automatic method reliably selected a representative QRST complex where its instability measure effectively identified signal variability due to both external disturbances ("noise") and physiologic and pathophysiologic variability, such as e.g. sinus arrhythmia and atrial fibrillation. There were significant sex-related differences in 24 of 28 VCG parameters. Some VCG parameters were insensitive to the instability value, while others were moderately sensitive. CONCLUSION:We developed an automatic process for identification of a signal-averaged QRST complex suitable for morphologic measurements which worked reliably in 99% of participants. This process is applicable for all non-invasive analyses of cardiac electrophysiology including risk stratification for cardiac death based on such measurements.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Vectorcardiogram (VCG) signals monitor both spatial and temporal cardiac electrical activities along three orthogonal planes of the body. However, the absence of spatiotemporal resolution in conventional VCG representations is a major impediment for medical interpretation and clinical usage of VCG. This is especially so because time-domain features of 12-lead ECG, instead of both spatial and temporal characteristics of VCG, are widely used for the automatic assessment of cardiac pathological patterns. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We present a novel representation approach that captures critical spatiotemporal heart dynamics by displaying the real time motion of VCG cardiac vectors in a 3D space. Such a dynamic display can also be realized with only one lead ECG signal (e.g., ambulatory ECG) through an alternative lag-reconstructed ECG representation from nonlinear dynamics principles. Furthermore, the trajectories are color coded with additional dynamical properties of space-time VCG signals, e.g., the curvature, speed, octant and phase angles to enhance the information visibility. RESULTS: In this investigation, spatiotemporal VCG signal representation is used to characterize various spatiotemporal pathological patterns for healthy control (HC), myocardial infarction (MI), atrial fibrillation (AF) and bundle branch block (BBB). The proposed color coding scheme revealed that the spatial locations of the peak of T waves are in the Octant 6 for the majority (i.e., 74 out of 80) of healthy recordings in the PhysioNet PTB database. In contrast, the peak of T waves from 31.79% (117/368) of MI subjects are found to remain in Octant 6 and the rest (68.21%) spread over all other octants. The spatiotemporal VCG signal representation is shown to capture the same important heart characteristics as the 12-lead ECG plots and more. CONCLUSIONS: Spatiotemporal VCG signal representation is shown to facilitate the characterization of space-time cardiac pathological patterns and enhance the automatic assessment of cardiovascular diseases.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Recently we showed the predictive value of sum absolute QRST integral (SAI QRST) and repolarization lability for risk stratification of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in heart failure patients. The goal of this study was to compare SAI QRST and metrics of depolarization and repolarization variability in healthy men and women.<h4>Methods</h4>Orthogonal ECGs were recorded at rest for 10 minutes in 160 healthy men and women (mean age 39.6±14.6, 80 men). Mean spatial TT' angle, and normalized variances of T loop area, of spatial T vector amplitude, of QT interval and Tpeak-Tend area were measured for assessment of repolarization lability. Normalized variances of spatial QRS vector and QRS loop area characterized variability of depolarization. In addition, variability indices (VI) were calculated to adjust for normalized heart rate variance. SAI QRST was measured as the averaged arithmetic sum of areas under the QRST curve.<h4>Results</h4>Men were characterized by shorter QTc (430.3±21.7 vs. 444.7±22.2 ms; P<0.0001) and larger SAI QRST (282.1±66.7 vs. 204.9±58.5 mV*ms; P<0.0001). Repolarization lability negatively correlated with spatial T vector amplitude. Adjusted by normalized heart rate variance, QT variability index was significantly higher in women than in men (-1.54±0.38 vs. -1.70±0.33; P?=?0.017). However, in multivariate logistic regression after adjustment for body surface area, QTc, and spatial T vector amplitude, healthy men had 1.5-3 fold higher probability of having larger repolarization lability, as compared to healthy women (T vector amplitude variability index odds ratio 3.88 (95%CI 1.4-11.1; P?=?0.012).<h4>Conclusions</h4>Healthy men more likely than women have larger repolarization lability.
Project description:Asymptomatic individuals account for the majority of sudden cardiac deaths (SCDs). Development of effective, low-cost, and noninvasive SCD risk stratification tools is necessary.Participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study and Cardiovascular Health Study (n=20?177; age, 59.3±10.1 years; age range, 44-100 years; 56% female; 77% white) were followed up for 14.0 years (median). Five ECG markers of global electric heterogeneity (GEH; sum absolute QRST integral, spatial QRST angle, spatial ventricular gradient [SVG] magnitude, SVG elevation, and SVG azimuth) were measured on standard 12-lead ECGs. Cox proportional hazards and competing risks models evaluated associations between GEH electrocardiographic parameters and SCD. An SCD competing risks score was derived from demographics, comorbidities, and GEH parameters. SCD incidence was 1.86 per 1000 person-years. After multivariable adjustment, baseline GEH parameters and large increases in GEH parameters over time were independently associated with SCD. Final SCD risk scores included age, sex, race, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, and GEH parameters as continuous variables. When GEH parameters were added to clinical/demographic factors, the C statistic increased from 0.777 to 0.790 (P=0.008), the risk score classified 10-year SCD risk as high (>5%) in 7.2% of participants, 10% of SCD victims were appropriately reclassified into a high-risk category, and only 1.4% of SCD victims were inappropriately reclassified from high to intermediate risk. The net reclassification index was 18.3%.Abnormal electrophysiological substrate quantified by GEH parameters is independently associated with SCD in the general population. The addition of GEH parameters to clinical characteristics improves SCD risk prediction.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Prediction of End-Systole time is of utmost importance for cardiac MRI to correctly associate acquired k-space lines during reconstruction of cine acquisitions. This prediction is usually based on the patient's heart rate using Weissler's formula, which was calibrated by linear regression within a population and cannot account for individual variability. OBJECTIVE:We propose an automatic method to build a personalized model that better predicts end-systole. METHODS:A phase contrast sequence was modified to acquire only central k-space line with 6.6ms temporal resolution, in a slice passing through the aorta during 128 heartbeats in 35 subjects. Segmentation of aorta and detection of end of systolic ejection was automatic. Duration of electromechanical systole duration as function of heart rate was determined for each subject separately. RESULTS:In comparison with the global models, the adapted cardiac model predicted significantly better both echocardiographic end-systolic reference (bias = 0ms vs 17ms, p<0.001) and MRI measurements (bias = 6.8ms vs 17ms). Favorable impact was shown on the cine reconstruction of the 5 subjects with the higher cardiac variability (p = 0.02). CONCLUSIONS:Personalization of cardiac model to the subject is feasible in MRI and reduces the error of prediction of systole.
Project description:Objectives: This descriptive study was performed to evaluate the capability of a non-invasive transabdominal electrocardiographic system to extract clear fetal electrocardiographic (FECG) measurements from intrauterine growth restricted (IUGR) fetuses and to assess whether abdominal FECG parameters can be developed as markers for evaluating the fetal cardiac status in IUGR. Methods: Transabdominal FECG was attempted in 20 controls and 15 IUGR singleton pregnancies at 20+0-33+6 weeks gestation. Standard ECG parameters were compared between the study groups and evaluated for their correlation. Accuracy for the prediction of IUGR by cut off values of the different FECG parameters was also determined. Results: Clear P-QRST complexes were recognized in all cases. In the IUGR fetuses, the QT and QTc intervals were significantly prolonged (p = 0.017 and p = 0.002, respectively). There was no correlation between ECG parameters and Doppler or other indices to predict IUGR. The generation of cut off values for detecting IUGR showed increasing sensitivities but decreasing specificities with the prolongation of ECG parameters. Conclusion: The study of fetal electrocardiophysiology is now feasible through a non-invasive transabdominal route. This study confirms the potential of FECG as a clinical screening tool to aid diagnosis and management of fetuses after key limitations are addressed. In the case of IUGR, both QT and QTc intervals were significantly prolonged and thus validate earlier study findings where both these parameters were found to be markers of diastolic dysfunction. This research is a useful prelude to a test of accuracy and Receiver Operating Characteristics (ROC) study.
Project description:To validate an automatic algorithm for offline T2* measurements, providing robust, vendor-independent T2*, and uncertainty estimates for iron load quantification in the heart and liver using clinically available imaging sequences.A T2* region of interest (ROI)-based algorithm was developed for robustness in an offline setting. Phantom imaging was performed on a 1.5 Tesla system, with clinically available multiecho gradient-recalled-echo (GRE) sequences for cardiac and liver imaging. A T2* single-echo GRE sequence was used as reference. Simulations were performed to assess accuracy and precision from 2000 measurements. Inter- and intraobserver variability was obtained in a patient study (n?=?23).Simulations: Accuracy, in terms of the mean differences between the proposed method and true T2* ranged from 0-0.73 ms. Precision, in terms of confidence intervals of repeated measurements, was 0.06-4.74 ms showing agreement between the proposed uncertainty estimate and simulations. Phantom study: Bias and variability were 0.26?±?4.23 ms (cardiac sequence) and -0.23?±?1.69 ms (liver sequence). Patient study: Intraobserver variability was similar for experienced and inexperienced observers (0.03?±?1.44 ms versus 0.16?±?2.33 ms). Interobserver variability was 1.0?±?3.77 ms for the heart and -0.52?±?2.75 ms for the liver.The proposed algorithm was shown to provide robust T2* measurements and uncertainty estimates over the range of clinically relevant T2* values. Magnetic Resonance in Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Society for Magnetic Resonance.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Global electrical heterogeneity (GEH) is associated with sudden cardiac death (SCD) in adults of 45 years and above. However, GEH has not been previously measured in young athletes. The goal of this study was to establish a reference for vectorcardiograpic (VCG) metrics in male and female athletes. METHODS:Skiers (n = 140; mean age 19.2 ± 3.5 years; 66% male, 94% white; 53% professional athletes) were enrolled in a prospective cohort. Resting 12-lead ECGs were interpreted per the International ECG criteria. Associations of age, sex, and athletic performance with GEH were studied. RESULTS:In age and training level-adjusted analyses, male sex was associated with a larger T vector [T peak magnitude +186 (95% CI 106-266) µV] and a wider spatial QRS-T angle [+28.2 (17.3-39.2)°] as compared to women. Spatial QRS-T angle in the ECG left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) voltage group (n = 21; 15%) and normal ECG group did not differ (67.7 ± 25.0 vs. 66.8 ± 28.2; p = 0.914), suggesting that ECG LVH voltage in athletes reflects physiological remodeling. In contrast, skiers with right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH) voltage (n = 26, 18.6%) had wider QRS-T angle (92.7 ± 29.6 vs. 66.8 ± 28.2°; p = 0.001), larger SAI QRST (194.9 ± 30.2 vs. 157.8 ± 42.6 mV × ms; p < 0.0001), but similar peak SVG vector magnitude (1976 ± 548 vs. 1939 ± 395 µV; p = 0.775) as compared to the normal ECG group. Better athletic performance was associated with the narrower QRS-T angle. Each 10% worsening in an athlete's Federation Internationale de' Ski downhill ranking percentile was associated with an increase in spatial QRS-T angle by 2.1 (95% CI 0.3-3.9) degrees (p = 0.013). CONCLUSION:Vectorcardiograpic adds nuances to ECG phenomena in athletes.
Project description:AIM:The goal of this study was to compare associations between clinical and ECG predictors of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) response with electrical dyssynchrony. METHODS:Body-surface potentials were recorded using a 120-lead system in 4 patients (age 62 ± 12 y, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) 29 ± 5 %; QRS duration 154 ± 19 ms) with post-myocardial infarction scar and left bundle branch block before CRT implantation. A patient-specific heart-torso model derived from MRI with 291 heart-surface nodes was developed. Electrical dyssynchrony index (EDI) was computed as the standard deviation of activation times on the epicardium while uncoupling index (UI) was measured as the difference between the activation times. RESULTS:QRS duration correlated with mean activation time (r = 0.977; P = 0.023), but did not correlate with EDI or UI. LVEF inversely correlated with activation time at the lowest 20th percentile (r = -0.960; P = 0.040). Sum absolute QRST integral (SAI QRST), measured on orthogonal XYZ ECG, correlated with EDI (r = 0.955; P = 0.045), and characterized late-activated area of the left ventricle. CONCLUSION:SAI QRST is a measure of electrical dyssynchrony on ECG.
Project description:We propose four novel mathematical models, describing the microscopic mechanisms of force generation in the cardiac muscle tissue, which are suitable for multiscale numerical simulations of cardiac electromechanics. Such models are based on a biophysically accurate representation of the regulatory and contractile proteins in the sarcomeres. Our models, unlike most of the sarcomere dynamics models that are available in the literature and that feature a comparable richness of detail, do not require the time-consuming Monte Carlo method for their numerical approximation. Conversely, the models that we propose only require the solution of a system of PDEs and/or ODEs (the most reduced of the four only involving 20 ODEs), thus entailing a significant computational efficiency. By focusing on the two models that feature the best trade-off between detail of description and identifiability of parameters, we propose a pipeline to calibrate such parameters starting from experimental measurements available in literature. Thanks to this pipeline, we calibrate these models for room-temperature rat and for body-temperature human cells. We show, by means of numerical simulations, that the proposed models correctly predict the main features of force generation, including the steady-state force-calcium and force-length relationships, the length-dependent prolongation of twitches and increase of peak force, the force-velocity relationship. Moreover, they correctly reproduce the Frank-Starling effect, when employed in multiscale 3D numerical simulation of cardiac electromechanics.
Project description:AIM:Our goal was to investigate the effect of a global XYZ median beat construction and the heart vector origin point definition on predictive accuracy of ECG biomarkers of sudden cardiac death (SCD). METHODS:Atherosclerosis Risk In Community study participants with analyzable digital ECGs were included (n?=?15,768; 55% female, 73% white, mean age 54.2?±?5.8?y). We developed an algorithm to automatically detect the heart vector origin point on a median beat. Three different approaches to construct a global XYZ beat and two methods to locate origin point were compared. Global electrical heterogeneity was measured by sum absolute QRST integral (SAI QRST), spatial QRS-T angle, and spatial ventricular gradient (SVG) magnitude, azimuth, and elevation. Adjudicated SCD served as the primary outcome. RESULTS:There was high intra-observer (kappa 0.972) and inter-observer (kappa 0.984) agreement in a heart vector origin definition between an automated algorithm and a human. QRS was wider in a median beat that was constructed using R-peak alignment than in time-coherent beat (88.1?±?16.7 vs. 83.7?±?15.9?ms; P?<?0.0001), and on a median beat constructed using QRS-onset as a zeroed baseline, vs. isoelectric origin point (86.7?±?15.9 vs. 83.7?±?15.9?ms; P?<?0.0001). ROC AUC was significantly larger for QRS, QT, peak QRS-T angle, SVG elevation, and SAI QRST if measured on a time-coherent median beat, and for SAI QRST and SVG magnitude if measured on a median beat using isoelectric origin point. CONCLUSION:Time-coherent global XYZ median beat with physiologically meaningful definition of the heart vector's origin point improved predictive accuracy of SCD biomarkers.