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BACKGROUND: Myocardial ischemia creates abnormal electrophysiological substrates that result in life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias. Identifying patients at risk of such abnormalities by use of body surface electrical measures is controversial. We investigated the sensitivity of torso measures, recorded simultaneously with epicardial electrograms, to changes in dispersion of depolarization and repolarization during localized ventricular ischemia. METHODS AND RESULTS: Ventricular epicardial electrograms were recorded from 5 anesthetized pigs with a 127-electrode sock. A controllable suture snare was used to ligate the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD). The chest was reclosed, and a vest with 256 ECG electrodes was fitted to the torso. Simultaneous arrays of epicardial electrograms and torso ECGs were recorded during LAD occlusion and reperfusion. Activation-recovery intervals (ARIs), QTu and RTu dispersion (where u indicates upstroke), and QRST integrals were calculated, and these data were fitted to anatomically customized computational models of the swine ventricular epicardium and torso. LAD occlusion caused the epicardial ARI dispersion to steadily increase, whereas the location of shortest ARI shifted from the posterobasal ventricular tissue (control) to the anteroapical myocardium, distal to the suture snare. These changes were associated with a steady increase in the torso RTu dispersion as the shortest RTu interval moved from the right shoulder (control) to the sternum. QTu and RTu dispersion determined from the 12-lead ECG did not consistently reflect the myocardial changes. CONCLUSIONS: Although changes in myocardial repolarization dispersion resulting from localized ischemia are not reliably reflected in temporal indices derived from the 12-lead ECG, they can be readily identified with high-resolution torso ECG mapping.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





2257 - 2263


Animals, Arrhythmias, Cardiac, Body Surface Potential Mapping, Electrocardiography, Heart Ventricles, Kinetics, Myocardial Ischemia, Pericardium, Swine