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Herz. 1988 Jun;13(3):147-59.

[Methods for the detection of ventricular late potentials. High amplification ECG, signal averaging technic, frequency analysis and intracardiac mapping].

[Article in German]

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Abteilung Innere Medizin IV--Kardiologie, Universität Ulm.


Circumscribed areas of injured myocardium which lead to late ventricular depolarization represent the pathologic-anatomic substrate for reentry mechanisms potentially capable of propagating ventricular tachycardia at the ventricular level. If the myocardial area from which delayed ventricular depolarization and, consequently, late potentials eminate, exceeds a critical minimal size, documentation of such signals can not only be achieved with direct endocardial mapping or catheter mapping but also by means of special high-resolution ECG techniques from the body surface. Since high amplification of the conventional ECG results in registration of noise signals in amplitude of up to 50 microV, late potentials with their amplitudes at the body surface ranging from 5 to a maximum of 20 microV, can only be discriminated after substantial enhancement of the signal-to-noise ratio. The noise arises from no less than three sources: physiologic noise, for example, from muscle activity; electronic noise from amplifiers and background noise of 50 or 60 Hz, respectively. To improve the signal-to-noise ratio, currently three methods are employed: sequential or temporal signal averaging, spatial signal averaging and fast Fourier transformation analysis of the frequency spectrum of the highly-amplified ECG. Temporal signal averaging has the purpose of smoothing randomly-occurring background noise and, at a specified point in time of the ECG cycle, to sum the signal incurred. The effectivity of this technique, however, is subject to certain conditions: the signal to be registered and the background noise must be independent from each other, the noise must be stationary and show normal random distribution, the signal of interest must be periodic and/or coupled with a fixed interval to a point in the ECG cycle which can be used as a trigger. The quality of the averaged signal is dependent on trigger stability. There are three approaches to trigger processing: voltage threshold determination, slope detection and the pattern matching technique, the accuracy, reliability and time-consumption of which increases in the order listed. A trigger stability of +/- 0.5 ms is necessary to detect ventricular late potentials with sufficient sensitivity and without meaningful deformation or attenuation of their form and temporal extent. Intercurrently, a number of commercially-acquirable signal averaging computers have been made available which differ with respect to registration and analysis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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