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Improved performance of Bayesian solutions for inverse Electrocardiography using multiple information sources

2006-10-01
Serinağaoğlu Doğrusöz, Yeşim
BROOKS, Dana
MACLEOD, Robert
The usual goal in inverse electrocardiography (ECG) is to reconstruct cardiac electrical sources from body surface potentials and a mathematical model that relates the sources to the measurements. Due to attenuation and smoothing that occurs in the thorax, the inverse ECG problem is ill-posed and imposition of a priori constraints is needed to combat this ill-posedness. When the problem is posed in terms of reconstructing heart surface potentials, solutions have not yet achieved clinical utility; limitations include the limited availability of good a priori information about the solution and the lack of a "good" error metric. We describe an approach that combines body surface measurements and standard forward models with two additional information sources: statistical prior information about epicardial potential distributions and sparse simultaneous measurements of epicardial potentials made with multielectrode coronary venous catheters. We employ a Bayesian methodology which offers a general way to incorporate these information sources and additionally provides statistical performance analysis tools. In a simulation study, we first compare solutions using one or more of these information sources. Then, we study the effects of varying the number of sparse epicardial potential measurements on reconstruction accuracy. To evaluate accuracy, we used the Bayesian error covariance as well as traditional error metrics such as relative error. Our results show that including even sparsely sampled information from coronary venous catheters can substantially improve the reconstruction of epicardial potential distributions and that a Bayesian framework provides a feasible approach to using this information. Moreover, computing the Bayesian error standard deviations offers a means to indicate confidence in the results even in the absence of validation data.