Mapping cardiac currents using ultrasound current source density imaging

R. Olafsson, R. S. Witte, S. W. Huang, M. O. Donnell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


We describe the first mapping of biological current in a live heart using Ultrasound Current Source Density Imaging (UCSDI). Ablation procedures that treat severe heart arrhythmias require detailed maps of the cardiac activation wave. UCSDI can potentially improve on existing mapping procedures which are time-consuming and limited by its poor spatial resolution (5-10 mm). UCSDI is based on a pressure-induced change in resistivity known as the acousto-electric (AE) effect, which is spatially confined to the ultrasound focus. Data from two experiments are presented. A 540 kHz ultrasonic transducer (f/#=l, focal length=90 mm, pulse repetition frequency=1600Hz) was scanned over an isolated rabbit heart, perfused with excitation-contraction decoupler to significantly reduce motion while retaining electric function. Tungsten electrodes inserted in the left ventricles recorded simultaneously the AE signal and the low frequency electrocardiogram (ECG). UCSDI displayed spatial and temporal patterns consistent with the spreading activation wave. The propagation velocity estimated from UCSDI was 0.25±0.05 mm/ms, comparable to the values obtained with the ECG signals. The maximum AE signal-to-noise ratio after filtering was 18dB, with an equivalent detection threshold of 0.1 mA/cm 2. This study demonstrates that UCSDI is a potentially powerful technique for mapping current flow and biopotentials in the heart.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2008 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2008
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781424424283
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2008 - Beijing, China
Duration: Nov 2 2008Nov 5 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium
ISSN (Print)1051-0117


Other2008 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2008


  • Acousto-electric
  • Arrhythmia
  • Cardiac mapping
  • Electrocardiology
  • Electromechanical imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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