Body surface Laplacian mapping of atrial depolarization in healthy human subjects

J. Lian, G. Li, J. Cheng, B. Avitalli, Bin He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In the present study, we report body surface Laplacian mapping of atrial depolarization under sinus rhythm in 8 healthy male subjects. For each subject, 95 unipolar disk electrodes with inter-electrode distance of 2 cm were used to record simultaneously potential ECGs over the anterior chest. The Laplacian ECG was then estimated during the P wave using a novel spline Laplacian technique. The body surface potential map (BSPM) and body surface Laplacian map (BSLM) at different time instants or time intervals of the P wave were constructed and compared. The present results showed that the BSPMs during the P wave were characterized by the rotation of a pair of positive/negative potential distribution from right to left around the anterior torso. On the other hand, the corresponding BSLMs revealed more spatial details, including two positive activities (denoted as P1 and P2, appeared in all 8 subjects), and three negative activities (denoted as N1, N2, and N3, appeared in 7, 7, and 4 subjects, respectively). The separation of these activities and their evolving patterns were also compared and confirmed by computer simulation using a realistic geometry heart-torso model. The above findings may be directly related to the underlying activation sequence during atrial depolarization in healthy subjects, suggesting the potential clinical applications of the Laplacian ECG technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)650-659
Number of pages10
JournalMedical and Biological Engineering and Computing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported in part by a grant from the American Heart Association through grant 0140132N, NSF CAREER Award BES-9875344, and NSF BES-0201939.


  • Atrial depolarization
  • Body surface Laplacian map
  • Body surface potential map
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrophysiology
  • Spline Laplacian ECG


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