Similarity Score for the Identification of Active Sites in Patients With Atrial Fibrillation

Vasanth Ravikumar, Sanket Thakare, Xiangzhen Kong, Henri Roukoz, Elena G. Tolkacheva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and precursor to other cardiac diseases. Catheter ablation is associated with limited success rates in patients with persistent AF. Currently, existing mapping systems fail to identify critical target sites for ablation. Recently, we proposed and validated several individual techniques, such as dominant frequency (DF), multiscale frequency (MSF), kurtosis (Kt), and multiscale entropy (MSE), to identify active sites of arrhythmias using simulated intracardiac electrograms (iEGMs). However, the individual performances of these techniques to identify arrhythmogenic substrates are not reliable. Objective: This study aimed to develop a similarity score using various iEGM analysis techniques to more accurately identify the spatial location of active sites of arrhythmia in patients with AF. Methods: Clinical bipolar iEGMs were obtained from patients with AF who underwent either successful (m = 4) or unsuccessful (m = 4) catheter ablation. A similarity score (0–3) was developed via the earth mover’s distance (EMD) approach based on a combination of DF, MSF, MSE, and Kt techniques. Results: Individual techniques successfully discriminated between successful and unsuccessful AF ablation patients but were not reliable in identifying active spatial sites of AF. However, the proposed similarity score was able to pinpoint the spatial sites with high values (active AF sites) that were observed only in patients with unsuccessful AF termination, suggesting that these active sites were missed during the ablation procedure. Conclusion: Arrhythmogenic substrates with abnormal electrical activity are identified in patients with unsuccessful AF termination after catheter ablation, suggesting clinical efficacy of similarity score.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number767190
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
StatePublished - Jan 20 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by UMN MNP #21.30 (EGT) and National Institute of Health R01 HL104025 and R01 HL106592.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 Ravikumar, Thakare, Kong, Roukoz and Tolkacheva.


  • ablation
  • atrial fibrillation
  • earth mover’s distance (EMD)
  • signal processing
  • similarity score


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