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  1. Abstract Background

    Catheter ablation is associated with limited success rates in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (AF). Currently, existing mapping systems fail to identify critical target sites for ablation. Recently, we proposed and validated several techniques (multiscale frequency [MSF], Shannon entropy [SE], kurtosis [Kt], and multiscale entropy [MSE]) to identify pivot point of rotors using ex‐vivo optical mapping animal experiments. However, the performance of these techniques is unclear for the clinically recorded intracardiac electrograms (EGMs), due to the different nature of the signals.


    This study aims to evaluate the performance of MSF, MSE, SE, and Kt techniques to identify the pivot point of the rotor using unipolar and bipolar EGMs obtained from numerical simulations.


    Stationary and meandering rotors were simulated in a 2D human atria. The performances of new approaches were quantified by comparing the “true” core of the rotor with the core identified by the techniques. Also, the performances of all techniques were evaluated in the presence of noise, scar, and for the case of the multielectrode multispline and grid catheters.


    Our results demonstrate that all the approaches are able to accurately identify the pivot point of both stationary and meandering rotors from both unipolar and bipolar EGMs. The presence of noise and scar tissue did not significantly affect the performance of the techniques. Finally, the core of the rotors was correctly identified for the case of multielectrode multispline and grid catheter simulations.


    The core of rotors can be successfully identified from EGMs using novel techniques; thus, providing motivation for future clinical implementations.

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  2. null (Ed.)
    Abstract Life‐threatening ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death are often preceded by cardiac alternans, a beat‐to‐beat oscillation in the T‐wave morphology or duration. However, given the spatiotemporal and structural complexity of the human heart, designing algorithms to effectively suppress alternans and prevent fatal rhythms is challenging. Recently, an antiarrhythmic constant diastolic interval pacing protocol was proposed and shown to be effective in suppressing alternans in 0‐, 1‐, and 2‐dimensional in silico studies as well as in ex vivo whole heart experiments. Herein, we provide a systematic review of the electrophysiological conditions and mechanisms that enable constant diastolic interval pacing to be an effective antiarrhythmic pacing strategy. We also demonstrate a successful translation of the constant diastolic interval pacing protocol into an ECG‐based real‐time control system capable of modulating beat‐to‐beat cardiac electrical activity and preventing alternans. Furthermore, we present evidence of the clinical utility of real‐time alternans suppression in reducing arrhythmia susceptibility in vivo. We provide a comprehensive overview of this promising pacing technique, which can potentially be translated into a clinically viable device that could radically improve the quality of life of patients experiencing abnormal cardiac rhythms. 
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  3. null (Ed.)
  4. Paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (Paro. AF) is challenging to identify at the right moment. This disease is often undiagnosed using currently existing methods. Nonlinear analysis is gaining importance due to its capability to provide more insight into complex heart dynamics. The aim of this study is to use several recently developed nonlinear techniques to discriminate persistent AF (Pers. AF) from normal sinus rhythm (NSR), and more importantly, Paro. AF from NSR, using short-term single-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) signals. Specifically, we adapted and modified the time-delayed embedding method to minimize incorrect embedding parameter selection and further support to reconstruct proper phase plots of NSR and AF heart dynamics, from MIT-BIH databases. We also examine information-based methods, such as multiscale entropy (MSE) and kurtosis (Kt) for the same purposes. Our results demonstrate that embedding parameter time delay ( τ ), as well as MSE and Kt values can be successfully used to discriminate between Pers. AF and NSR. Moreover, we demonstrate that τ and Kt can successfully discriminate Paro. AF from NSR. Our results suggest that nonlinear time-delayed embedding method and information-based methods provide robust discriminating features to distinguish both Pers. AF and Paro. AF from NSR, thus offering effective treatment before suffering chaotic Pers. AF. 
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  5. null (Ed.)