Magnetocardiographic Imaging of Ventricular Repolarization in Rett Syndrome

  • Donatella Brisinda
  • Anna Maria Meloni
  • Giuseppe Hayek
  • Menotti Calvani
  • Riccardo Fenici
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3504)


Rett syndrome (RS) is a severe neurological disorder, predominant in females, with higher risk of sudden death (SD). So far for risk-assessment, heart rate variability (HRV), QT duration and its dispersion (QTd) were measured with ECG. However SD has occurred in RS also in absence of ECG abnormality. We aimed to evaluate the feasibility of magnetocardiographic (MCG) mapping as an alternative to study ventricular repolarization (VR) alteration in RS patients. 9 female (age: 1-34 years) RS patients were studied with an unshielded 36-channels MCG system. To assess VR, heart rate (HR)-corrected JTpeak, JTend, QTend, Tpeak − − endintervals and QTd, were measured from both MCG and ECG signals. Moreover the magnetic field (MF) gradient orientation (α-angle) during the ST segment and three MF dynamic parameters were automatically evaluated from MCG T-wave. HRV parameters were evaluated from 12-lead Holter ECG. 15 age-matched normal controls (NC) were studied for comparison. HR-corrected JTpeak, JTend, QTend and Tpeak − − end intervals, and QTd were longer in RS than in NC. The differences were more evident with clinical impairment (stage IV). MF gradient orientation and MF dynamic parameters were abnormal in RS patients. As compared to NC, HRV parameters were altered in the time-domain, although still within normal range in the frequency-domain. In RS, ECG recordings are often noisy and BSPM is difficult. On the contrary MCG mapping is easily feasible and discovers VR alteration not evident at the ECG. The diagnostic value of MCG in RS remains to be defined.


Heart Rate Variability Magnetic Field Gradient Rett Syndrome Magnetic Field Distribution Heart Rate Variability Parameter 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donatella Brisinda
    • 1
  • Anna Maria Meloni
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Hayek
    • 2
  • Menotti Calvani
    • 3
  • Riccardo Fenici
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical Physiology–Biomagnetism CenterCatholic University of RomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of Child Neurology and PsychiatryUniversity of SienaItaly
  3. 3.Sigma Tau S.p.A.RomeItaly

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