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Minerva Cardiology and Angiology 2021 February;69(1):70-80

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5683.20.05431-6


language: English

Characterization of cardiac electrogram signals in atrial arrhythmias

Antonio FRONTERA 1 , Luca Rosario LIMITE 1, Stefano PAGANI 2, Alexios HADJIS 1, Manuela CIREDDU 1, Simone SALA 1, Giorgios TSITSINAKIS 1, Gabriele PAGLINO 1, Giovanni PERETTO 1, Felicia LIPARTITI 1, Caterina BISCEGLIA 1, Andrea RADINOVIC 1, Giuseppe D’ANGELO 1, Alessandra MARZI 1, Francesca BARATTO 1, Pasquale VERGARA 1, Luca DEDÈ 2, Simone GULLETTA 1, Andrea MANZONI 2, Patrizio MAZZONE 1, Alfio QUARTERONI 2, 3, Paolo DELLA BELLA 1

1 Department of Arrhythmology, IRCCS San Raffaele Hospital, Milan, Italy; 2 MOX, Department of Mathematics, Polytechnic of Milan, Milan, Italy; 3 Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Despite significant advancements in 3D cardiac mapping systems utilized in daily electrophysiology practices, the characterization of atrial substrate remains crucial for the comprehension of supraventricular arrhythmias. During mapping, intracardiac electrograms (EGM) provide specific information that the cardiac electrophysiologist is required to rapidly interpret during the course of a procedure in order to perform an effective ablation. In this review, EGM characteristics collected during sinus rhythm (SR) in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (pAF) are analyzed, focusing on amplitude, duration and fractionation. Additionally, EGMs recorded during atrial fibrillation (AF), including complex fractionated atrial EGMs (CFAE), may also provide precious information. A complete understanding of their significance remains lacking, and as such, we aimed to further explore the role of CFAE in strategies for ablation of persistent AF. Considering focal atrial tachycardias (AT), current cardiac mapping systems provide excellent tools that can guide the operator to the site of earliest activation. However, only careful analysis of the EGM, distinguishing low amplitude high frequency signals, can reliably identify the absolute best site for RF. Evaluating macro-reentrant atrial tachycardia circuits, specific EGM signatures correspond to particular electrophysiological phenomena: the careful recognition of these EGM patterns may in fact reveal the best site of ablation. In the near future, mathematical models, integrating patient-specific data, such as cardiac geometry and electrical conduction properties, may further characterize the substrate and predict future (potential) reentrant circuits.

KEY WORDS: Electrophysiologic techniques, cardiac; Arrhythmias, cardiac; Tachycardia, ectopic atrial; Atrial fibrillation

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