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Phys Med Biol. 2011 Nov 21;56(22):L1-11. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/56/22/F01. Epub 2011 Oct 25.

Electromechanical wave imaging for arrhythmias.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.


Electromechanical wave imaging (EWI) is a novel ultrasound-based imaging modality for mapping of the electromechanical wave (EW), i.e. the transient deformations occurring in immediate response to the electrical activation. The correlation between the EW and the electrical activation has been established in prior studies. However, the methods used previously to map the EW required the reconstruction of images over multiple cardiac cycles, precluding the application of EWI for non-periodic arrhythmias such as fibrillation. In this study, new imaging sequences are developed and applied based on flash- and wide-beam emissions to image the entire heart at very high frame rates (2000 fps) during free breathing in a single heartbeat. The methods are first validated by imaging the heart of an open-chest canine while simultaneously mapping the electrical activation using a 64-electrode basket catheter. Feasibility is then assessed by imaging the atria and ventricles of closed-chest, conscious canines during sinus rhythm and during right-ventricular pacing following atrio-ventricular dissociation, i.e., during a non-periodic rhythm. The EW was validated against electrode measurements in the open-chest case, and followed the expected electrical propagation pattern in the closed-chest setting. These results indicate that EWI can be used for the characterization of non-periodic arrhythmias in conditions similar to the clinical setting, in a single heartbeat, and during free breathing.

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