Development, in vitro validation and human application of a novel method to identify arrhythmia mechanisms: The stochastic trajectory analysis of ranked signals mapping method

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2019 May;30(5):691-701. doi: 10.1111/jce.13882. Epub 2019 Mar 5.


Introduction: Stochastic trajectory analysis of ranked signals (STAR) is a novel method for mapping arrhythmia. The aim was to describe its development and validation as a mapping tool.

Methods and results: The method ranks electrodes in terms of the proportion of the time they lead relative to neighboring electrodes and ascribes a predominant direction of activation between electrodes. This was conceived with the aim of mapping atrial fibrillation (AF) drivers. Validation of this approach was performed in stages. First, in vitro simultaneous multi-electrode array and optical mapping were performed on spontaneously fibrillating HL1 cell cultures, to determine if such a method would be able to determine early sites of activation (ESA). A clinical study acquiring unipolar electrograms using a 64-pole basket for the purposes of STAR mapping in patients undergoing atrial tachycardia (AT) ablation. STAR maps were analyzed by physicians to see if arrhythmia mechanisms could be correctly determined. Mapping was then repeated during atrial pacing. STAR mapping of in vitro activation sequences accurately correlated to the optical maps of planar and rotational activation. Thirty-two ATs were mapped in 25 patients. The ESA accurately identified focal/micro-reentrant ATs and the mechanism of macro-reentrant ATs was effectively demonstrated. STAR method accurately identified four pacing sites in all patients.

Conclusions: This novel STAR method correlated well with the gold standard of optical mapping in vitro and was able to accurately identify AT mechanisms. Further analysis is needed to determine whether the method might be of use mapping AF.

Keywords: atrial fibrillation; atrial tachycardia; catheter ablation; mapping method; optical mapping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials*
  • Animals
  • Atrial Fibrillation / diagnosis*
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Atrial Fibrillation / surgery
  • Catheter Ablation
  • Cell Line
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted*
  • Electrophysiologic Techniques, Cardiac*
  • Heart Rate*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Myocytes, Cardiac / physiology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / diagnosis*
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / physiopathology
  • Tachycardia, Supraventricular / surgery
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Voltage-Sensitive Dye Imaging*