Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common sustained cardiac arrhythmia in clinical practice, affecting 1 to 2% of the world population. Invasive electrophysiological studies, in which cardiac electrograms are measured directly in the atria using catheters, are the most direct approach to identify regions that maintain AF. However, this strategy is technically complex, requiring a large amount of time and resources and with risks for patients, motivating the development of non-invasive methods, such as body surface potential mapping (BSPM). This technique is based on the measurement of a high density of electrocardiograms (ECGs), which are then used to obtain information on atrial behavior in a non-invasive way, assisting cardiologists' therapy planning prior the invasive procedures. Due to the complexity of this arrhythmia and the great sensitivity to errors by current commercial systems, making it difficult to characterize and locate arrhythmogenic sources for certain groups of patients with AF, it is important to develop research aimed at customizing techniques for AF, especially non-diagnostic methods, minimizing risks to the AF patients. The objective of this project is to validate a customized method of estimating electrical potentials in the torso from the atrial signals and the 3D geometries of the atria and torso. Realistic computational models of AF and patients with AF will be used. Segmentation of the surfaces of the torso and atria through magnetic resonance images will be performed. After developing the forward electrocardiogram problem algorithm, the signals estimated on the torso will be compared with those made available by mathematical models (567 points) and measured in patients with AF (57 points), using Pearson's correlation. Thus, validating a method of estimating the signs on the torso during AF from the signals of the atrium and the three-dimensional (3D) geometries of the torso and atria, would contribute to highlight the importance of the BSPM system and its spatio-temporal correlation seen by the torso of the atrial activity during AF, for diffusion it in the clinic. Invasive commercial systems could, in the future, use this idea and project the signals on the torso from the heart signals, for training clinicians and encouraging the use of non-invasive methods.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: