Sensitivity and specificity of substrate mapping: an in silico framework for the evaluation of electroanatomical substrate mapping strategies

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2014 Jul;25(7):774-80. doi: 10.1111/jce.12444. Epub 2014 May 30.


Background: Voltage mapping is an important tool for characterizing proarrhythmic electrophysiological substrate, yet it is subject to geometric factors that influence bipolar amplitudes and thus compromise performance. The aim of this study was to characterize the impact of catheter orientation on the ability of bipolar amplitudes to accurately discriminate between healthy and diseased tissues.

Methods and results: We constructed a 3-dimensional, in silico, bidomain model of cardiac tissue containing transmural lesions of varying diameter. A planar excitation wave was stimulated and electrograms were sampled with a realistic catheter model at multiple positions and orientations. We carried out validation studies in animal experiments of acute ablation lesions mapped with a clinical mapping system. Bipolar electrograms sampled at higher inclination angles of the catheter with respect to the tissue demonstrated improvements in both sensitivity and specificity of lesion detection. Removing low-voltage electrograms with concurrent activation of both electrodes, suggesting false attenuation of the bipolar electrogram due to alignment with the excitation wavefront, had little effect on the accuracy of voltage mapping.

Conclusions: Our results demonstrate possible mechanisms for the impact of catheter orientation on voltage mapping accuracy. Moreover, results from our simulations suggest that mapping accuracy may be improved by selectively controlling the inclination of the catheter to record at higher angles with respect to the tissue.

Keywords: bipolar electrogram; computer-based model; electroanatomical mapping; voltage mapping.

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials
  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnosis*
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / physiopathology
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / surgery
  • Cardiac Catheterization* / instrumentation
  • Cardiac Catheters
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Computer Simulation*
  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac / instrumentation
  • Heart Conduction System / physiopathology*
  • Heart Conduction System / surgery
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Animal
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Swine