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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1993 Oct;22(4):1105-10.

Multipolar endocardial mapping of the right atrium during cardiac catheterization: description of a new technique.

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Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.



Using a new mapping system that allows the simultaneous acquisition of data from 25 right atrial bipolar electrodes during cardiac catheterization, we mapped normal sinus rhythm and atrial reentrant tachycardia in 24 sheep (20 to 49 kg) and 7 pigs (25 to 35 kg).


Rapid, high resolution mapping during cardiac catheterization may shorten ablation procedures and permit ablation of otherwise refractory arrhythmias.


A flexible, elliptic, basket-shaped recording catheter has five spokes, each with 10 electrodes arranged as 5 bipolar pairs. Catheter shape, electrode spacing and introduction technique were modified in response to the results of experiments in the first 23 animals. In the most recent eight animals, retraction of a string attached to the distal tip distended the basket, providing safe tissue contact. Filtered (30 to 250 Hz) bipolar recordings from all 25 electrode pairs, as well as a surface electrocardiogram, were recorded and digitized at 1,000 Hz using custom software. An activation map was digitally constructed and superimposed on anteroposterior and lateral fluoroscopic catheter images. Bipolar recordings were made in normal sinus rhythm (31 animals), with adequate signals recorded from > 95% of electrode pairs. Rapid burst pacing and intentional right atrial air embolus (30 to 50 ml) induced sustained atrial reentrant tachycardia in five animals, which was also adequately recorded.


Catheter positioning and complete atrial mapping required < 10 min after venous access in the most recent eight experiments. The catheter was left in position for up to 4 h. Postmortem evaluation revealed minor superficial abrasion of the venae cavae or right atrial endocardium in six animals and moderate abrasion in two. No other damage was observed.


This new system may ultimately assist in mapping simple or complex atrial arrhythmias during cardiac catheterization.

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