Unshielded magnetocardiography: Repeatability and reproducibility of automatically estimated ventricular repolarization parameters in 204 healthy subjects

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Abstract

Background:

Magnetocardiographic mapping (MCG) provides quantitative assessment of the magnetic field (MF) induced by cardiac ionic currents, is more sensitive to tangential currents, and measures vortex currents undetectable by ECG, with higher reported sensitivity of MCG ventricular repolarization (VR) parameters for earlier detection of acute myocardial ischemia. Aims of this study were to validate the feasibility of in-hospital unshielded MCG and to assess repeatability and reproducibility of quantitative VR parameters, considering also possible gender- and age-related variability.

Methods:

MCG of 204 healthy subjects [114 males—mean age 43.4 ± 17.3 and 90 females—mean age 40.2 ± 15.7] was retrospectively analyzed, with a patented proprietary software automatically estimating twelve VR parameters derived from the analysis of the dynamics of the T-wave MF extrema (five parameters) and from the inverse solution with the effective magnetic dipole model giving the effective magnetic vector components (seven parameters). MCG repeatability was calculated as coefficient of variation (CV) ±standard error of the mean (SEM). Reproducibility was assessed as intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC).

Results:

The repeatability of all MCG parameters was 16 ± 1.2 (%) (average CV ± SEM). Optimal (ICC > 0.7) reproducibility was found for 11/12 parameters (mean values) and in 8/12 parameters (single values). No significant gender-related difference was observed; six parameters showed a strong/moderate correlation with age.

Conclusion:

Reliable MCG can be performed into an unshielded hospital ambulatory, with repeatability and reproducibility of quantitative assessment of VR adequate for clinical purposes. Wider clinical use is foreseen with the development of multichannel optical magnetometry.

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