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Equivalent Dipole Vector Analysis for Detecting Pulmonary HypertensionVarious 12-lead ECG criteria have been established to detect right ventricular hypertrophy as a marker of pulmonary hypertension (PH). While some criteria offer good specificity they lack sensitivity because of a low prevalence of positive findings in the PH population. We hypothesized that three-dimensional equivalent dipole (ED) model could serve as a better detection tool of PH. We enrolled: 1) 17 patients (12 female, 5 male, mean age 57 years, range 19-79 years) with echocardiographically detected PH (systolic pulmonary arterial pressure greater than 35 mmHg) and no significant left ventricular disease; and 2) 19 healthy controls (7 female, 12 male, mean age 44, range 31-53 years) with no known heart disease. In each subject we recorded a 5-minute high-resolution 12-lead conventional ECG and constructed principal signals using singular value decomposition. Assuming a standard thorax dimension of an adult person with homogenous and isotropic distribution of thorax conductance, we determined moving equivalent dipoles (ED), characterized by the 3D location in the thorax, dipolar strength and the spatial orientation, in time intervals of 5 ms. We used the sum of all ED vectors in the second half of the QRS complex to derive the amplitude of the right-sided ED vector (RV), if the orientation of ED was to the right side of the thorax, and in the first half the QRS to derive the amplitude of the left-sided vector (LV), if the orientation was leftward. Finally, the parameter RV/LV ratio was determined over an average of 256 complexes. The groups differed in age and gender to some extent. There was a non-significant trend toward higher RV in patients with PH (438 units 284) than in controls (280 plus or minus 140) (p = 0.066) but the overlap was such that RV alone was not a good predictor of PH. On the other hand, the RV/LV ratio was a better predictor of PH, with 11/17 (64.7%) of PH patients but only in 1/19 (5.3%) control subjects having RV/LV ratio greater than or equal to 0.70 (p less than 0.001). The use of ED for evaluating PH shows good specificity at a reasonable sensitivity. The results are limited due to the small study groups and differences in age and gender, but further investigations are warranted, including of ED's diagnostic accuracy for PH versus that of other proposed ECG and VCG criteria.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Harlander, Matevz (Ljubljana Univ. Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Salobir, Barbara (Ljubljana Univ. Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Toplisek, Janez (Ljubljana Univ. Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Schlegel, Todd T. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Starc, Vito (Ljubljana Univ. Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2010
Subject Category
Life Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
37th International Congress on Electrocardiology(Lund)
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