Atrial fibrillation (AF), a cardiac arrhythmia classically described as completely desynchronized, is now known to show a certain amount of synchronized electrical activity. In the present work a new method for quantifying the level of synchronization of the electrical activity recorded in pairs of atrial sites during atrial fibrillation is presented. A synchronization index (Sy) was defined by quantifying the degree of complexity of the distribution of the time delays between sites by Shannon entropy estimation. The capability of Sy to discriminate different AF types in patients was assessed on a database of 60 pairs of endocardial recordings from a multipolar basket catheter. The analysis showed a progressive and significant decrease of Sy with increasing AF complexity classes as defined by Wells (AF type I Sy = 0.73 Â± 0.07, type II Sy = 0.56 Â± 0.07, type III Sy = 0.36 Â± 0.04, p < 0.001). The extension of Sy calculation to the whole right atrium showed the existence of spatial heterogeneities in the synchronization level. Moreover, experiments simulated by a computer model of atrial arrhythmias showed that propagation patterns with different complexity could be the basis of different synchronization levels found in patients. In conclusion the quantification of synchronization by Shannon entropy estimation of time delay dispersion may facilitate the identification of different propagation patterns associated with AF, thus enhancing our understanding of AF mechanisms and helping in its treatment. Â© 2005 IOP Publishing Ltd.
|Numero di pagine||13|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2005|
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