Objective: In this study, we have used whole heart simulations parameterized with large animal experiments to validate three techniques (two from the literature and one novel) for estimating epicardial and volumetric conduction velocity (CV).
Methods: We used an eikonal-based simulation model to generate ground truth activation sequences with prescribed CVs. Using the sampling density achieved experimentally we examined the accuracy with which we could reconstruct the wavefront, and then examined the robustness of three CV estimation techniques to reconstruction related error. We examined a triangulation-based, inverse-gradient-based, and streamline-based techniques for estimating CV cross the surface and within the volume of the heart.
Results: The reconstructed activation times agreed closely with simulated values, with 50-70% of the volumetric nodes and 97-99% of the epicardial nodes were within 1 ms of the ground truth. We found close agreement between the CVs calculated using reconstructed versus ground truth activation times, with differences in the median estimated CV on the order of 3-5% volumetrically and 1-2% superficially, regardless of what technique was used.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that the wavefront reconstruction and CV estimation techniques are accurate, allowing us to examine changes in propagation induced by experimental interventions such as acute ischemia, ectopic pacing, or drugs.
Significance: We implemented, validated, and compared the performance of a number of CV estimation techniques. The CV estimation techniques implemented in this study produce accurate, high-resolution CV fields that can be used to study propagation in the heart experimentally and clinically.