Assessment of Myocardial Infarct Size with Body Surface Potential Mapping: Validation against Contrast-Enhanced Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Assessment of myocardial infarct (MI) size is important for therapeutic and prognostic reasons. We used body surface potential mapping (BSPM) to evaluate whether single-lead electrocardiographic variables can assess MI size.


We performed BSPM with 120 leads covering the front and back chest (plus limb leads) on 57 patients at different phases of MI: acutely, during healing, and in the chronic phase. Final MI size was determined by contrast-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (DE-CMR) and correlated with various computed depolarization- and repolarization-phase BSPM variables. We also calculated correlations between BSPM variables and enzymatic MI size (peak CK-MBm).


BSPM variables reflecting the Q- and R wave showed strong correlations with MI size at all stages of MI. R width performed the best, showing its strongest correlation with MI size on the upper right back, there representing the width of the “reciprocal Q wave” (r = 0.64–0.71 for DE-CMR, r = 0.57–0.64 for CK-MBm, P < 0.0001). Repolarization-phase variables showed only weak correlations with MI size in the acute phase, but these correlations improved during MI healing. T-wave variables and the QRSSTT integral showed their best correlations with DE-CMR defined MI size on the precordial area, at best r = −0.57, P < 0.0001 in the chronic phase. The best performing BSPM variables could differentiate between large and small infarcts at all stages of MI.


Computed, single-lead electrocardiographic variables can estimate the final infarct size at all stages of MI, and differentiate large infarcts from small.

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