Imaging and visualization of 3-D cardiac electric activity

Bin He, Dongsheng Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Noninvasive imaging of cardiac electric activity is of importance for better understanding the underlying mechanisms and for aiding clinical diagnosis and intervention of cardiac abnormalities. We propose to image the three-dimensional (3-D) cardiac bioelectric source distribution from body-surface electrocardiograms. Cardiac electrical sources were modeled by a current dipole distribution throughout the entire myocardium, and estimated by using the Laplacian weighted minimum norm (LWMN) algorithm from body-surface potentials. The estimated inverse solution of the current distribution was further improved by using a recursive weighting strategy for localized sources, such as origins of cardiac arrhythmias. Computer simulations were conducted to test the feasibility of the proposed approach by using a 3-D ventricle model embedded in a realistically shaped torso model. The boundary element method was used to solve the forward problem from assumed cardiac sources to the body-surface potentials. Two testing dipoles were placed in the left and right ventricles, simulating the early activation associated with ventricular arrhythmias. The LWMN inverse solution showed an equivalent source distribution over the entity of both ventricles, with spread areas of activity overlying the positions of the testing dipoles. The sharpened inverse image provides well-localized focal sources near the testing dipole positions. In summary, the present computer simulation suggests that the proposed 3-D cardiac current source imaging and localization approach appears to be a promising candidate for localizing J and imaging sites of origins of cardiac activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-186
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received May 22, 2000; revised January 14, 2000. This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation under CAREER Award BES-9875344 and by the Campus Research Board of the University of Illinois at Chicago under a grant. B. He is with the Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607 USA (e-mail: D. Wu is with Morningstar Inc., Chicago, IL 60606 USA. Publisher Item Identifier S 1089-7771(01)04280-7.


  • Cardiac imaging
  • Catheter ablation
  • Electrocardiography
  • Inverse problem
  • Laplacian imaging


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