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Artif Organs. 2014 Dec;38(12):1040-6. doi: 10.1111/aor.12306. Epub 2014 Apr 21.

Detection of premature ventricular contractions on a ventricular electrocardiogram for patients with left ventricular assist devices.

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School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea.


The ventricular electrocardiogram (v-ECG) was developed for long-term monitoring of heartbeats in patients with a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) and does not normally have the functionality necessary to detect additional heart irregularities that can progress to critical arrhythmias. Although the v-ECG has the benefits of physiological optimization and counterpulsation control, when abnormal heartbeats occur, the v-ECG does not show the distinct abnormal waveform that enables easy detection of an abnormal heartbeat among normal heartbeats on the conventional ECG. In this study, the v-ECGs of normal and abnormal heartbeats are compared with each other with respect to peak-to-peak voltage, area, and maximal slopes, and a new method to detect abnormal heartbeats is suggested. In a series of animal experiments with three porcine models (Yorkshire pigs weighing 30-40 kg), a v-ECG and conventional ECG were taken simultaneously during LVAD perfusion. Clinical experts found 104 abnormal heartbeats from the saved conventional ECG data and confirmed that the other 3159 heartbeats were normal. Almost all of the abnormal heartbeats were premature ventricular contractions (PVCs), and there was short-term tachycardia for 3 s. A personal computer was used to automatically detect abnormal heartbeats with the v-ECG according to the new method, and its results were compared with the clinicians' results. The new method found abnormal heartbeats with 90% accuracy, and less than 15% of the total PVCs were missed.


Algorithm; Arrhythmia; Left ventricular assist device; Ventricular electrocardiogram

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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