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Measure of synchronisation of right atrial depolarisation wavefronts during atrial fibrillation

  • V. Barbaro
  • P. Bartolini
  • G. Calcagnini
  • F. Censi
  • A. Michelucci
Article

Abstract

A new index of synchronisation (IS) between the electrical activity of pairs of close atrial sites during atrial fibrillation (AF) is introduced. The index assesses the probability of finding synchronous activations in intra-atrial bipolar electrograms and is based on the assumption that two activations closely spaced in time are likely to belong to the same depolarisation wavefront. A dedicated statistical treatment to test this hypothesis is also illustrated. Experimental data were obtained using a multipolar basket catheter in the right atrium in 20 patients during normal sinus rhythm (NSR), atrial flutter (AFL, one patient), high-frequency pacing (HFP, two patients) and chronic AF (17 patients), and 30 segments were obtained from each. From the 24 pairs of bipoles, a single averaged IS and its standard deviation were extracted. The IS was 1 in NSR and HFP and 0.95±0.02 during AFL. During AF, the IS provided a quantitative measure of the degree of coupling of various atrial sites. The IS varied significantly among the recording sites (range 0.38–0.96), showing a patient-dependent pattern, and decreased as the arrhythmia complexity increases. No temporal trends were observed for the IS values in any chronic AF patient. On average, in each site, the dispersion of the IS over time was lower than 32% of the mean, for all patients. Additional relevant features of the proposed index are its high temporal resolution (2s) and robustness to activation time estimation error, to missing or false detections and to the ever-changing pattern of propagation. The index of synchronisation is a descriptor of the electrophysiological properties of atrial tissues.

Keywords

Atrial fibrillation Synchronisation Intra-atrial electrograms Basket catheter 

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Copyright information

© IFMBE 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Barbaro
    • 1
  • P. Bartolini
    • 1
  • G. Calcagnini
    • 1
  • F. Censi
    • 1
  • A. Michelucci
    • 2
  1. 1.Biomedical Engineering LaboratoryIstituto Superiore di SanitàRomaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Internal Medicine & CardiologyUniversità di FirenzeItaly

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