Automated Localization of Focal Ventricular Tachycardia From Simulated Implanted Device Electrograms: A Combined Physics-AI Approach

Front Physiol. 2021 Jul 1;12:682446. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.682446. eCollection 2021.

Abstract

Background: Focal ventricular tachycardia (VT) is a life-threating arrhythmia, responsible for high morbidity rates and sudden cardiac death (SCD). Radiofrequency ablation is the only curative therapy against incessant VT; however, its success is dependent on accurate localization of its source, which is highly invasive and time-consuming. Objective: The goal of our study is, as a proof of concept, to demonstrate the possibility of utilizing electrogram (EGM) recordings from cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs). To achieve this, we utilize fast and accurate whole torso electrophysiological (EP) simulations in conjunction with convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to automate the localization of focal VTs using simulated EGMs. Materials and Methods: A highly detailed 3D torso model was used to simulate ∼4000 focal VTs, evenly distributed across the left ventricle (LV), utilizing a rapid reaction-eikonal environment. Solutions were subsequently combined with lead field computations on the torso to derive accurate electrocardiograms (ECGs) and EGM traces, which were used as inputs to CNNs to localize focal sources. We compared the localization performance of a previously developed CNN architecture (Cartesian probability-based) with our novel CNN algorithm utilizing universal ventricular coordinates (UVCs). Results: Implanted device EGMs successfully localized VT sources with localization error (8.74 mm) comparable to ECG-based localization (6.69 mm). Our novel UVC CNN architecture outperformed the existing Cartesian probability-based algorithm (errors = 4.06 mm and 8.07 mm for ECGs and EGMs, respectively). Overall, localization was relatively insensitive to noise and changes in body compositions; however, displacements in ECG electrodes and CIED leads caused performance to decrease (errors 16-25 mm). Conclusion: EGM recordings from implanted devices may be used to successfully, and robustly, localize focal VT sources, and aid ablation planning.

Keywords: automated localization; deep learning; electrograms; implanted devices; torso modeling; ventricular tachycardia.