Multilead Template-Derived Residua of Surface ECGS for Quantitative Assessment of Arrhythmia Risk

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Abstract

Background:

Contemporary electrocardiographic (ECG) markers including ventricular ectopy and arrhythmias have not proved reliable in risk assessment for life-threatening arrhythmias.

Methods:

We developed the “Multilead ECG Template-Derived Residua” approach to remove intrinsic morphologic differences and allow calculation of pathologic ECG heterogeneities among spatially separated leads. Prediction by R-wave and T-wave heterogeneity (RWH, TWH) analysis was tested in simulated and clinical ECGs.

Results:

An enabling description of the Residua algorithm is provided. Simulated ECGs with but not without Residua produced a linear relationship (correlation coefficient r2 = 0.999) between input and output RWH and TWH values. In heart failure patients, Residua disclosed a marked crescendo in RWH from 164.1 ± 33.1 at baseline to 299.8 ± 54.5 μV and TWH from 134.5 ± 20.6 at baseline to 239.2 ± 37.0 μV at 30–45 minutes before the arrhythmia (both, P < 0.05), which remained elevated until arrhythmia onset. Without Residua, mean RWH and TWH were elevated at 1061.0 ± 222.9 and 882.5 ± 375.2 μV, respectively, throughout the recording and were not different prior to ventricular tachycardia onset.

Conclusions:

Calculation of ECG-template derived Residua provides a highly accurate means for assessing arrhythmia risk from standard ECGs. Potential widespread applications include resting diagnostic 12-lead, ambulatory, and exercise ECGs, electrophysiologic study laboratory recordings, and implantable devices.

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