(19)
(11)EP 2 765 902 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
14.08.2019 Bulletin 2019/33

(21)Application number: 12839803.9

(22)Date of filing:  12.10.2012
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61B 5/04  (2006.01)
A61B 5/044  (2006.01)
A61B 5/0432  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2012/059957
(87)International publication number:
WO 2013/056050 (18.04.2013 Gazette  2013/16)

(54)

SENSING ZONE FOR SPATIALLY RELEVANT ELECTRICAL INFORMATION

ERFASSUNGSZONE FÜR RÄUMLICH RELEVANTE STROMINFORMATIONEN

ZONE DE DÉTECTION POUR UNE INFORMATION ÉLECTRIQUE PERTINENTE DANS L'ESPACE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 12.10.2011 US 201161546083 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
20.08.2014 Bulletin 2014/34

(73)Proprietor: CardioInsight Technologies, Inc.
Independence, OH 44131 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • JIA, Ping
    Solon, OH 44139 (US)
  • RAMANATHAN, Charulatha
    Solon, OH 44139 (US)
  • STROM, Maria
    Mayfield Heights, OH 44124 (US)
  • GEORGE, Brian P.
    Medina, OH 44256 (US)
  • BHETWAL, Lalita
    Solon, OH 44139 (US)
  • WODLINGER, Harold
    Thornhill, ON L4J 1B9 (CA)
  • SMALL, Jonathan D.
    Avon, OH 44011 (US)

(74)Representative: Schmidt, Steffen J. 
Wuesthoff & Wuesthoff Patentanwälte PartG mbB Schweigerstrasse 2
81541 München
81541 München (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 266 459
WO-A1-2010/054320
JP-A- 2007 061 617
JP-A- 2009 537 252
US-A1- 2009 069 704
WO-A1-2010/019494
JP-A- 2001 070 269
JP-A- 2007 268 034
US-A1- 2008 058 657
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] This disclosure relates to a sensing zone that can be used to obtaining spatially relevant electrical information, such as for one or more regions of an anatomical structure.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Body surface mapping (BSM) is well known art in electrocardiography. BSM involves recording electrocardiograms from several locations on the body surface. The principle of body surface mapping is to obtain the heart's electrical activity in a spatially comprehensive manner as possible.

    [0003] Electrocardiographic mapping (ECM) is a technology that is used to determine heart electrical data from non-invasively measured body surface electricai signals, such as measured from BSM or other non-invasive electrical sensors. The resulting heart electrical data can be utilized to generate an output, such as a graphical map of heart electrical activity.

    [0004] Document WO 2010/019494 A1 discloses computer-implemented method for electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI) is provided. The method includes computing a transfer matrix, measuring a plurality of electrical potentials, and computing an estimation of electrical potentials on a surface of interest based at least in part on the measured potentials and the computed transfer matrix. The transfer matrix computing step is performed prior to the measuring step.

    [0005] Document WO 2010/054320 A1 discloses a computer-implemented method can include storing electro-anatomic data in memory representing electrical activity for a predetermined surface region of the patient and providing an interactive graphical representation of the predetermined surface region of the patient. A user input is received to define location data corresponding to a user-selected location for at least one virtual electrode on the graphical representation of the predetermined surface region of the patient.

    [0006] Document US 2009/069704 A1 discloses an electrophysiology (EP) system including an interface for operator-interaction with the results of code executing therein. A template model can have channels positioned or repositioned thereupon by the user to define a set-up useful in rapid catheter positioning. Mapping operations can be performed without the requirement for precise catheter location determinations. A map module coordinates EP data associated with each selected channel and its associated position on the template model to provide this result, and can update the resulting map in the event that the channel or location is changed. Messaging and other dynamic features enable synchronized presentation of a myriad of EP data.

    [0007] Document EP 2 266 459 A1 discloses a method for providing a representation of the movement of electrical activity through a heart muscle. The method comprises: obtaining an ECG of said heart muscle; obtaining a model of the heart geometry; obtaining a model of the torso geometry; relating the measurements per electrode of the ECG to the heart and torso geometry based upon a source model and estimating the movement of electrical activity through the heart muscle based upon a fastest route algorithm.

    SUMMARY



    [0008] This disclosure relates to a sensing zone that can be used to obtaining spatially relevant electrical information, such as for one or more regions of an anatomical structure. The sensing zone can provide very sensitive and specific data pertaining to the electrical activity of the heart, globally and regionally. This has several applications, including to facilitate electrocardiographic mapping (ECM) and analysis.

    [0009] One or more sensing zones are determined for a selected region of interest. Electrical activity thus is sensed for the sensing zone, such as by using an application-specific arrangement of electrodes. The electrical activity for a given predetermined sensing zone on the body surface provides a surrogate estimate for electrical activity of the region of interest, which can be displayed in a graphical map for the region of interest. In some examples, the electrical activity for the sensing zone can be mapped via electrocardiographic mapping on to a cardiac envelope such as to display reconstructed electrical activity for the region of interest.

    [0010] A computer-implemented method includes identifying a region of interest for an anatomical structure located within a patient's body. A zone on a body surface of the patient is determined, based on analysis of electrical activity for the region of interest relative to electrical activity on the body surface, such that electrical activity for the zone on the body surface provides a surrogate estimate for electrical activity of the region of interest.

    [0011] As another example, a non-transitory computer-readable medium having instructions stored thereon, the instructions being executable by a processor to perform a method. The method can include accessing electrical data measured from at least a predetermined sensing zone on a body surface of a patient that is spaced apart from a given region of interest of the heart. A surrogate estimate for electrical activity of the given region of interest can be determined based on the electrical data for the predetermined sensing zone on the body surface.

    [0012] As another example, a non-transitory computer-readable medium having instructions stored thereon, the instructions being executable by a processor to perform a method. The method can include accessing electrical data measured from at least a predetermined sensing zone on a body surface of a patient that is spaced apart from a given region of interest of the heart. Electrical activity for the given region of interest of the heart can be determined based on geometry data and the electrical data for the predetermined sensing zone on the body surface. A graphical map of electrical activity can be generated for the given region of interest of the heart based on the reconstructed electrical activity.

    [0013] As yet another example, a non-transitory computer-readable medium having instructions executable by a processor. The instructions can include a channel detector to determine at least one input channel expected to affect mapping of body surface electrical activity within a sensing zone that comprises a proper subset of available input channels. A resolution calculator can compute coefficients of a transformation matrix for each of the at least one input channel in the sensing zone. An evaluator can identify a low resolution anatomical spatial region based on an evaluation of the coefficients.

    [0014] The present invention is set out in the appended claims.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0015] 

    FIG. 1 is a flow diagram that illustrates an example of a method to determine a sensing zone for a region of interest.

    FIG. 2 is a flow diagram illustrating an example of a method of performing electrocardiographic mapping.

    FIG. 3 depicts an example of a system to perform electrocardiographic mapping.

    FIG. 4 depicts examples of baseline graphical maps.

    FIG. 5 depicts examples of graphical maps post-therapy.

    FIG. 6 depicts an example of a workflow to be utilized to determine a sensing zone.

    FIG. 7 depicts a comparative example of reconstructed heart electrical activity.

    FIG. 8 depicts an example of a resolution calculation system.

    FIG. 9 depicts an example of a graphical user interface that can be utilized in conjunction with the system of FIG. 8.

    FIG. 10 depicts a simulated example comparison of reconstructed heart electrical activity for a given arrangement of electrodes in a sensing zone with and without bad channels.

    FIG. 11 depicts an example of reconstructed heart electrical activity comparing graphical maps generated from data simulating measurements made with and without bad sensing channels.

    FIG. 12 depicts another example of reconstructed heart electrical activity comparing graphical maps generated from data simulating measurements made with and without bad sensing channels.

    FIGS. 13A, 13B and 13C demonstrate examples of different types of maps that can be generated.

    FIG. 14 depicts an example of a computing environment in which the systems and methods disclosed herein can be implemented.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0016] This disclosure provides systems and methods for determining one or more sensing zones that can be utilized to facilitate evaluating cardiac function. In some examples electrocardiographic mapping (ECM). Also disclosed is an approach to provide a design of electrode arrangements that can be used to acquire data for ECM, such as can be an application-specific arrangement of electrodes.

    [0017] In some examples, systems and methods disclosed herein can compute a transfer matrix A-1 having coefficients that relates heart electrical potentials VH and body surface potentials VB, such as follows VH=A-1xVB. By using this matrix A-1, a proper subset of body surface channels and a relevant contributions to each and every node on the heart can be identified. That is, for each node on a cardiac envelope, the matrix A-1 can identify a set of electrode locations, which defines a zone, having a greatest contribution to the respective node. For a given region of interest (ROI) of the heart, which can include one or more nodes, a corresponding the matrix A-1 can be computed to identify a set of electrode locations (a zone) having the greatest contribution to the nodes that define the ROI. As used herein, the terms "region" and "ROI" as applied to a given surface of an anatomical structure or envelope means something less than the entire surface. For example, some well known regions of the heart include the right-ventricular (RV) freewall region, the anterior left ventricular (LV) region, the lateral left ventricular region, the apex, the left ventricular base and the like.

    [0018] The set of body surface channels contributing the greatest amount for a given ROI form a group of channels that are referred to herein as a sensing zone. As one example, the sensing zone can correspond to a critical set of electrodes necessary and sufficient to generate an accurate ECM.

    [0019] As another example, electrical activity for a predetermined sensing zone on the body surface provides a surrogate estimate for electrical activity of the region of interest. Thus, electrical activity measured from a given sensing zone can be utilized to understand and characterize electrical activity of the corresponding ROI. Moreover electrical activity measured for a plurality of different sensing zones can be analyzed to provide spatially and temporally consistent electrical information for multiple ROIs of the heart and even across the entire heart. For instance, the analysis can include computing electrical function characteristics, such as activation time, repolarization time, synchrony and the like, from the measured body surface electrical signals for each respective sensing zone. The computed electrical characteristics can be analyzed to understand relative cardiac electrical function among different ROIs of the heart, for example, by providing a graphical map of the measured body surface electrical signals, such as a potential map, or a map of the computed electrical characteristics.

    [0020] The sensing zone can vary depending on an ROI that is selected and/or application for which the ECM is being generated. For example, in some applications (e.g., cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT)), a greater level of accuracy may be desired such that the sensing zone can be determined to include a number of electrode sensing locations sufficient to afford the desired accuracy. In other situations, an even greater reduced subset of electrode sensing locations may be adequate. The sensing zone can include a contiguous set of body surface electrode sensing locations. Additionally or alternatively, the sensing zone can include non-contiguous clusters of one or more body surface electrode sensing locations. The distribution and arrangement of electrode sensing locations for a given sensing zone can vary depending on the selected ROI. The ROI can range, for example, from a single node of a cardiac envelope to the entire heart.

    [0021] As a further example, the set of body surface electrode sensing locations corresponding to the sensing zone can provide a reduced set of electrodes necessary and sufficient for ECM computations for each given ROI. As a result, application specific or special purpose vests and arrangements of sensing electrodes can be provided for use in ECM, such as one or more electrode arrangements configured with electrodes in different sensing zones for corresponding different applications. For example, a simplified sensing vest with an arrangement of electrodes can be provided for one or more ROIs on the heart, such as one or more ventricles. Such special purpose arrangement of sensing electrodes can have fewer electrodes than a general purpose vest that can include electrodes covering the entire torso in an evenly distributed arrangement. Additionally or alternatively, an arrangement of electrodes can be provided for a predetermined sensing zone configured for reconstructing heart electrical activity for one or more atria of a patient. Similar specially designed vests can also be configured for other ROIs of different anatomical or geometrical structures.

    [0022] As a further example, by knowing the sensing zone for a selected ROI, systems and methods disclosed herein can readily determine if a bad channel exists outside of the sensing zone it will have little if any impact on ECM results. Thus, there may be no need to correct for such a bad channel. In contrast, if a bad channel or electrode is determined to exist within a desired sensing zone, an appropriate warning can be generated to prompt the user to take corrective action. The impact of one or more bad channels on the resulting resolution of maps that can be generated from the measured body surface electrical activity can also be ascertained. For example, one or more low resolution regions on the heart can be determined and displayed in a corresponding graphical map.

    [0023] Additionally, by understanding the body surface electrode locations corresponding to the sensing zone, systems and methods disclosed herein can be programmed to provide guidance to facilitate application of other sensing and therapy devices (e.g., defibrillator patches, guidance electrodes and the like) to locations that reside outside of a sensing zone or minimize overlap with a sensing zone, as appropriate. Additionally, if a sensing zone is known for a given application, a reduced set of sensing data can be acquired (since there are fewer channels) to facilitate the resulting computations in translating the body surface electrical signals to corresponding reconstructed cardiac electrical signals on a cardiac envelope. Such computations thus can employ a set of contributing transfer matrix coefficients determined according to the electrode sensing locations. In other examples, the measured electrical activity for the sensing zone (or other electrical characteristics computed therefrom) can be utilized as a surrogate estimate of electrical activity for the corresponding ROI on the heart.

    [0024] FIG. 1 is a flow diagram 10 demonstrating an example method for determining a sensing zone corresponding to a given ROI. The method can include a computer implemented-method that employs instructions, executable by a processor, such as can be stored in a non-transitory machine readable medium (e.g., volatile or non-volatile memory). The method can also involve the use of electrodes for sensing electrical activity, which can be positioned on a patient for measuring electrical activity for one or more sensing zone.

    [0025] In FIG. 1, the method 10 includes identifying a ROI, at 12. The ROI can be identified in response to a user input such as entered via a user input device (e.g., mouse, keyboard, touchscreen) of a computer implementing the method. For instance, the user input can include access functions to select one or more ROI of the heart, to acquire body surface electrical data, to initiate a mapping function or the like. As disclosed herein, the ROI can correspond to an anatomic region or surface area of an anatomical structure within the patient's body, such as patient's heart or some other geometric construct (e.g., a cardiac envelope). For instance, an ROI can include the ventricles or atria or other region of interest, which may vary according to application requirements.

    [0026] In the example of FIG. 1, after the ROI has been ascertained, a corresponding sensing zone can be determined at 14. The sensing zone can be determined at 14 to encompass one or more body surface locations on which electrodes are positioned sufficient to ensure accurate inverse reconstruction of the body surface electrical measurements to corresponding cardiac electrical activity for the identified ROI. The determination can be made based on understanding the relative contribution of each of a plurality of body surface electrodes to nodes within the region of interest. The relative contribution of body surface electrodes to the location within the identified region of interest thus can be utilized to identify the sensing zone via a corresponding transfer matrix A-1. The sensing zone for a selected ROI can be determined from data from one patient.

    [0027] In some examples, the ROI can be further localized by using techniques. For example, such localization techniques can include, in response to applying a therapy (e.g., electrical stimulation pulse) to a known anatomical region and correlating the mapped body surface electrical measurements, an earliest activation signal and/or time can be computed to identify a corresponding sensing zone for the corresponding ROI at which the stimulation was applied.

    [0028] It is to be understood and appreciated that the actions illustrated in FIG. 1, in other embodiments, may occur in different orders than shown. For example, the region of interest can be identified at 12 based on the zone that has been determined at 14. This can be implemented to identify an ROI of a resultant map (e.g., corresponding to a low resolution region) that may be adversely affected by bad channels determined to reside in the zone. For instance, a bad channel can result from a missing electrode, an inadequate attachment of an electrode on the body surface, low signal-to-noise ratio, manually identifying a channel as bad or missing or combinations of these or other factors. As disclosed herein, one or more such low resolution area can be identified by evaluating coefficients calculated for the channels corresponding to electrodes that reside in the zone. The specificity and/or sensitivity of such evaluation may be fixed or it can be user programmable.

    [0029] Once the sensing zone has been adequately determined, a simplified arrangement of electrodes can be utilized for analysis. For example, the simplified arrangement of electrodes can be utilized for generating one or more graphical maps based on electrical activity sensed by the arrangement of electrodes, such as demonstrated in FIG. 2. In some examples, the sensed electrical activity can be analyzed to compute ECM. In other examples, the sensed electrical activity can be analyzed to generate body surface maps for the sensing zone, which provides a surrogate estimate for the corresponding ROI of the heart.

    [0030] In the example of FIG. 2, the method 20 includes providing an arrangement of electrodes according to the determined sensing zone, demonstrated at 22. The arrangement of electrodes can be configured as part of a simplified or custom vest design in which the arrangement of electrodes corresponds to a distribution of electrodes within the sensing zone. In other examples, the sensing zone can correspond to a proper subset of electrodes selected from an array of electrodes, such as may be integrated into a sensing vest or similar construct. If the sensing zone can be known a priori, such as to provide an application-specific arrangement of electrodes, a corresponding transfer matrix A-1 can be utilized to translate the body surface electrical signals to a corresponding ROI.

    [0031] Once the arrangement of electrodes has been positioned on the patient's body surface, including for a given sensing zone, body surface electrical measurements can be acquired at 24. Since the arrangement of electrodes for the given sensing zone is less than a full complement of body surface electrodes surrounding a patient's entire torso, as is done for traditional ECM, the amount of data acquired for ECM can be reduced as to facilitate subsequent processing for visualization.

    [0032] At 26, a graphical map can be generated for the ROI based on the acquired body surface electrical measurements for the sensing zone. By way of example, a map of body surface electrical activity for the sensing zone can be generated to provide a surrogate estimate for electrical activity of the corresponding ROI. For instance the surface map can be a potential map for the given zone or a plurality of different zones on the body surface where measurements are made via the electrode arrangement (at 22). Alternatively or additionally, the map can include a characterization of electrical activity that is computed from the body surface electrical measurements for the zone. As yet another example, the map can include a characterization of electrical activity that is computed from the body surface electrical measurements for a plurality of different zones, such as to provide a surrogate estimate of corresponding electrical characteristics for a plurality of respective ROls. The electrical characteristics can include body surface activation times, relative synchrony for the body surface signals, a repolarization or depolarization time calculated from the body surface signals. These and other characteristics for the body surface can provide surrogate estimates for the respective ROls without requiring imaging or solving the inverse solution.

    [0033] As another example, the graphical map can be generated based on reconstructed electrical signals corresponding to heart electrical activity. As disclosed herein the reconstructed electrical signals can be generated based on transformation matrix designed for the solving the inverse problem for the body surface electrical measurements for the sensing zone (or set of plural zones) and for reconstruction at each ROI (e.g., on the heart). The map thus can display reconstructed potentials in a potential map for the ROI over one or more time intervals. The maps can also include, for example, activation maps, repolarization maps, dominant frequency maps or maps of other electrical characteristics computed for the ROI based the reconstructed electrical activity.

    [0034] As mentioned above, since the number electrodes for the sensing zone can be significantly reduced relative to the traditional ECM vest, other objects (e.g., patches, electrodes, or the like) can be positioned on a patient's chest concurrently with the sensing electrodes during the acquisition of body surface measurements (at 24). If such other objects are placed outside of the sensing zones, such objects would not affect the accuracy of the results. Additionally, if such objects were placed within a sensing zone, an appropriate indication or warning could be provided to the user about the adversely affected electrodes. In this way, the user is afforded an opportunity to take corrective action as may be appropriate.

    [0035] By way of example, if defibrillator patches are required to be applied to a patient's body in particular locations and if a region of interest or regions can be identified in advance, the systems and methods shown and described herein can ascertain which electrodes are part of the sensing zone (or zones) such that if body surface electrodes are removed from the patient's body in order to position the defibrillator patches, the effect can be determined depending on whether or not the removed electrodes were in the sensing zone. For instance, information can be computed and provided to the user (e.g., a graphical map) demonstrating areas affected that may experience a decrease in resolution for one or more ROI. Thus, guidance can be provided to facilitate placements of such defibrillator patches or other objects depending upon the region of interest. In some cases, the region of low resolution may reside outside a ROI that is being evaluated such that it can be ignored. In other examples, the low resolution area may be within or overlap with the ROI such that corrective action (e.g., re-location of electrodes) may be needed before analysis of electrical activity for the ROI.

    [0036] Additionally or alternatively, as mentioned, specific vest designs can be created for particular applications such as may provide openings or access to the body surface to facilitate placements of defibrillator patches or other objects on the patient's torso while retaining the set of electrodes in the sensing zone.

    [0037] FIG. 3 demonstrates an example of a system 100 that can be utilized for performing electrical mapping of electrical activity. The system 100 can also be employed to determine a sensing zone for a selected ROI or to identify an anatomical region based on a selected sensing zone. For instance, the system 100 can perform the assessment of a patient's heart 102 in real time as part of a diagnostic or treatment procedure. Alternatively, the system 100 can operate offline based on stored data.

    [0038] The system 100 can include a measurement system 104 to acquire electrophysiology information for the patient 106. In the example of FIG. 3, a sensor array 108 includes one or more electrodes that can be utilized for recording patient electrical activity. As one example, the sensor array 108 can correspond to an arrangement of body surface electrodes that are distributed over and around the patient's torso for measuring electrical activity associated with the patient's heart (e.g., as part of an ECM procedure). An example of a non-invasive sensor array that can be used is shown and described in International application No. PCT/US2009/063803, which was filed 10 November 2009. This non-invasive sensor array corresponds to one example of a full complement of sensors that can include one or more sensing zones. As another example, the sensor array 108 can include an application-specific arrangement of electrodes corresponding to a single sensing zone or multiple discrete sensing zones. The application-specific arrangement of electrodes can be a proper subset of electrodes selected from the full complement of electrodes, such as disclosed herein. Additionally, invasive sensors (not shown) can be used in conjunction with the body surface sensor array 108.

    [0039] The measurement system 104 receives sensed electrical signals from the corresponding sensor array 108. The measurement system 104 can include appropriate controls and signal processing circuitry for providing corresponding electrical measurement data 110 that describes electrical activity detected by the sensors in the sensor array 108. The measurement data 110 can be stored in memory as analog or digital information. Appropriate time stamps can be utilized for indexing the temporal relationship between the respective measurement data 110 to facilitate the evaluation and analysis thereof. For instance, each of the sensors in the sensor array 108 can simultaneously sense body surface electrical activity and provide corresponding measurement data 110 for a user selected time interval.

    [0040] An output system 112 is configured to process the electrical measurement data, including for one or more sensing zones on the patient's body 106, and to generate an output 114. The output system 112 can be implemented as machine-readable instructions that, when executed by a processor, perform the methods and functions disclosed herein. The output 114 can present information for one or more ROIs based on the electrical measurement data 110. The output 14 can be stored in memory and provided to a display 116 or other type of output device. As disclosed herein, the type of output 114 and information presented can vary depending on, for example, application requirements of the user.

    [0041] As an example, the output system 112 can include a map generator 118 that is programmed to generate map data 120 representing a graphical map of electrical activity for one or more ROI based on the electrical measurement data 110 for one or more respective zone. As disclosed herein, the graphical map can represent body surface electrical activity that provides a surrogate estimate for one or more ROI, reconstructed electrical activity for a cardiac envelope (e.g., an epicardial surface), or other electrical characteristics computed therefrom and visualized as a corresponding map. The map generator 118 can generate the map data 120 to visualize such map spatially superimposed on the ROI of a graphical representation of the heart.

    [0042] In some examples, , the output system 112 includes a reconstruction component 122 that reconstructs heart electrical activity by combining the measurement data 110 with geometry data 116 through an inverse algorithm to reconstruct the electrical activity onto a cardiac envelope, such as an epicardial surface or other envelope. Examples of inverse algorithms are disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 7.983.743 and 6,772,004. The reconstruction component 122 for example computes coefficients for the transfer matrix A-1 to determine heart electrical activity based on the body surface electrical activity represented by the electrical measurement data 110.

    [0043] The map generator 118 can employ the reconstructed electrical data computed via the inverse method to produce corresponding map data 120 based on reconstructed heart electrical activity computed by the reconstruction component 114 for each ROI. The map data 120 can represent electrical activity of the heart 102, such as corresponding to a plurality of reconstructed electrograms distributed over each ROI for which the sensing zone(s) measured the body surface electrical activity. Alternatively or additionally, an analysis system 124 can compute other electrical characteristics from the reconstructed electrograms, such as disclosed herein. The map generator 118 can in turn produce graphical maps of such electrical characteristics for each ROI.

    [0044] As a further example, the geometry data 116 may be in the form of graphical representation of the patient's torso, such as image data acquired for the patient 106. Such image processing can include extraction and segmentation of anatomical features, including one or more organs and other structures, from a digital image set. Additionally, a location for each of the electrodes in the sensor array 108 can be included in the geometry data 116, such as by acquiring the image while the electrodes are disposed on the patient and identifying the electrode locations in a coordinate system through appropriate extraction and segmentation. The resulting segmented image data can be converted into a two-dimensional or three-dimensional graphical representation that includes the volume of interest for the patient.

    [0045] By way of further example, the patient geometry data 172 can be acquired using nearly any imaging modality (e.g., x-ray, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, ultrasound or the like) based on which a corresponding representation can be constructed, such as described herein. Such imaging may be performed concurrently with recording the electrical activity that is utilized to generate the measurement data 110 or the imaging can be performed separately (e.g., before the measurement data has been acquired).

    [0046] As another example, the geometry data 116 can correspond to a mathematical model of a torso that has been constructed based on image data for the patient's organ. A generic model can also be utilized to provide the geometry data 116. The generic model further may be customized (e.g., deformed) for a given patient, such as based on patient characteristics include size image data, health conditions or the like. Appropriate anatomical or other landmarks, including locations for the electrodes in the sensor array 108 can be represented in the geometry data 116 to facilitate registration of the electrical measurement data 110 and performing the inverse method thereon via the reconstruction component 114. The identification of such landmarks can be done manually (e.g., by a person via image editing software) or automatically (e.g., via image processing techniques). Where the electrical measurement data 110 is for a given sensing zone that can provide surrogate electrical activity for a corresponding ROI of the heart, the geometry data and the transformation matrix utilized for reconstructing electrical signals on the heart can likewise be application-specific to facilitate computations.

    [0047] In other examples, the map generator 118 can employ BSM/surrogate code 126 for generating the map data 120 directly based on the non-invasive body surface electrical activity (e.g., corresponding to the measurement data 110) without involving reconstruction by solving the inverse solution. In this example, the map data 120 provides a surrogate estimate of cardiac electrical activity for one or more ROI. For instance, the surrogate map data 120 can include measured electric potentials for a given sensing zone to provide a surrogate potential map for the respective ROI associated with such zone. Alternatively, BSM/surrogate code 126 can employ the analysis methods 124 to compute other electrical characteristics for the sensing zone directly from the measured data 110 without solving the inverse problem for reconstructing the signals on the respective ROI. The type of analysis 124 applied to the electrical measurement data 110, if any, for generating the surrogate estimate data can be selected in response to a user input.

    [0048] The map generator 118 can thus generate the map data 120 based on the surrogate estimate data without the complex computations associated with solving the inverse problem. The map data 120 for the surrogate estimate (e.g., electrical potentials or other characteristics computed for the zone) can include a map that shows variations across the sensing zone. In other examples, the electrical information for a given sensing zone can be aggregated spatially, temporally or both spatially and temporally, for the given zone to produce a value or range of values for a given ROI of the heart. As a further example, surrogate estimates of electrical characteristics can be determined for a plurality of different sensing zones, which can be used by the map generator118 to generate map data for each respective ROI of the heart. The map generator can generate and update maps to provide a visualization of the surrogate estimates in substantially real time, such as to facilitate providing real-time intraoperative guidance during a procedure, such as disclosed herein.

    [0049] As another example, an ROI selector 128 can be employed to select an ROI in response to a user input. The ROI can be selected as one of a plurality of predetermined anatomical regions. Alternatively, or additionally, the ROI can be traced on a graphical user interface of the anatomy containing the ROI, such as in response to a user input (e.g., via a mouse, touchscreen). The selected ROI can be utilized for determining a corresponding sensing zone.

    [0050] In some examples, a sensing zone function 130 can compute the sensing zone for the selected ROI based on the map data 120. For example, the sensing zone function 128 can determine the sensing zone for a given ROI based on a comparison of map data computed for a plurality of different subsets of electrical measurement data relative to map data computed for a full set measurement data (e.g., using a fully compliment of electrodes around the ROI. The comparison can employ from statistical analysis to ascertain a minimized sensing zone that is closest match to the map data. The comparison of map data can be performed automatically by the sensing zone function 130 and/or manual review of respective maps can be performed via the display to select a suitable sensing zone.

    [0051] In other examples, the ROI selector 128 can be programmed to identify an ROI based on a given sensing zone that has been determined by the zone function 130. For example, the map generator 118 can provide a graphical map for the identified ROI superimposed on a graphical representation of a heart. As disclosed herein (see, e.g., FIG. 9) the ROI can correspond to an anatomical region that is expected to be adversely affected by measurements in a given sensing zone of the patient's body surface (e.g., corresponding to bad channels). This analysis can be performed in situations when the full complement of body surface electrodes is being used as well as in situations when an application-specific arrangement of electrodes is being used. The guidance provided by the map thus can afford a user the opportunity understand how the measurements in the zone may affect resulting analysis. As a result, a user can have an opportunity to correct the problem (e.g., a set of bad channels), if appropriate, or proceed knowing how subsequent analysis of the selected ROI may be affected.

    [0052] In view of the foregoing, an application-specific arrangement of electrodes can be designed and/or produced to measure given electrical activity of a given respective sensing zone. Such application-specific arrangement of electrodes can be configured to include a spatial distribution of electrodes that reside only within the computed sensing zone. Such an application specific arrangement of electrodes can be implemented, for example, in the form of patches (e.g., single or multiple pieces). For example, a patch for CRT can be configured to allowing for left arm access for a pectoral pocket. The right side can remain free (uncovered) if it does not include a corresponding sensing zone design and if a right pocket is desired. The sensing zone can be thus used for application specific vest designs. Additionally or alternatively, the sensing zone can be used to evaluate the impact of not having sensors in sensing zones, including in real time, such as during a procedure.

    [0053] As another example, the application specific arrangement of electrodes can be implemented as a complete or partial band that can cover and wrap around a portion of the patient's chest that includes one or more sensing zone. Such band can include one or more clusters of electrodes or arrays distributed along one or more predetermined sensing zones. In other examples, small patches of electrode clusters can be configured for placement in application-specific sensing zones. One or more such patches could be used for acquiring body surface electrical data.

    [0054] The particular configuration and size of a given application-specific arrangement of electrodes, including patches, bands or the like, can vary depending on the geometry and location of the sensing zone that is determined for each respective application. Additionally, some application-specific arrangements of electrodes can be configured for multiple sensing zones. Placement of the patches can be guided based on manual measurements of the patient's anatomy. Additionally, imaging, which can be performed previously or during a procedure, may further be utilized to guide placement of the electrodes. For example, contributions of individual electrodes can be determined (e.g., by the measurement system 104 and/or the output system 112) with respect to points along one or more ROls to provide additional feedback to the user for adjusting the position of the application-specific arrangement of electrodes.

    [0055] Alternatively, a more extensive arrangement of electrodes up to covering the full torso can be utilized and the measurement system 104 and/or the output system 112 can remove measurement data from channels that is outside the zone. That is, the application-specific arrangement of electrodes for a given sensing zone can be implemented by constructing a physical arrangement of electrodes for the zone and/or by configuring the system to process a proper subset of channels corresponding to the zone. In either case, the computational complexity of signal processing and map generation can be reduced relative to traditional systems that process the entire compliment of channels. The application-specific application zone of channels can not only facilitate resulting analysis of electrical activity for the ROI, but do so while maintaining a high degree of accuracy for many applications and procedures (e.g., CRT).

    [0056] As mentioned above, due to the reduced computational complexity afforded by an application-specific zone, the system 100 can be utilized intraprocedurally for real-time analysis. For instance, the system can be used before, during and after providing a therapy or while programming a therapy delivery system to achieve a desired therapeutic effect.

    [0057] By way of example, a therapy system 132 can be configured to apply a therapy to the heart via a delivery device 134. In some examples, the therapy device 134 can be an electrically conductive structure, such as an electrode or antenna for providing electrical or radiofrequency therapy. Alternatively, the device 134 can be configured to apply a thermal therapy (e.g., heating or cooling) to the heart 102. The particular type and configuration of the delivery device 134 can depend on the mode of therapy, delivery site and application requirements. The therapy system can include a control 136 configured to control application of therapy, such as in response to a user input. For instance, a trigger (e.g., a switch or button) can be activated by a user to initiate application of therapy. Various therapy parameters can also be set in response to the user input to control the therapy. For the example of electrical stimulation (e.g., for CRT), the parameters can include amplitude, cycle time or the like and further will vary depending on the type of therapy.

    [0058] In the following example, a therapy delivery device (e.g., an electrode 134) can be positioned in or on a patient's heart 102, such as part of a minimally invasive catheter procedure. As disclosed herein, the sensor array108 is configured for measuring activity for at least a predetermined sensing zone or a plurality of different sensing zones. Prior to delivering a therapy, which may be before or after the device 134 has been positioned in the patient's body 106, one or more measurements (over respective time intervals) of body surface electrical activity can be made with the sensor array 108. The pre-therapy measurements of electrical activity can be stored as baseline electrical measurement data 110 for each zone over one or more pre-therapy time intervals.

    [0059] The acquired electrical measurements for each of the plurality of different zones can provide a baseline surrogate estimate of electrical activity (e.g., for each corresponding spatial ROI of the heart. The analysis function 124 can also compute surrogate estimates for electrical characteristics (e.g., activation-repolarization time etc.) for each respective ROI which can also be stored in memory as part of the baseline data for the procedure. In some examples, the analysis function 124 may be programmed to compute the estimate an indication of relative synchrony for a plurality of ROIs based on a comparison of activation and/or depolarization times for each of the ROIs relative to its respective baseline.

    [0060] After the baseline data has been acquired, therapy can be applied to the heart 102 via the therapy device 132. The measurement system 104 can measure body surface electrical activity from the patient's body during delivery of therapy and/or after the therapy is applied to provide corresponding measurement data. The BSM/surrogate function 126 can provide a surrogate estimate of electrical activity for each of a plurality of corresponding spatial ROIs of the heart based on intra- and/or post-therapy data that was acquired. This can be repeated over a plurality of different available therapy parameters.

    [0061] As a further example, the system can be utilized to implement a method for targeted analysis of one or more ROIs, including intraprocedurally and in real time. For example, the system 100 can be utilized to calibrate and identify the zones on the body surface that correspond to key anatomical regions. For instance, the anatomical region can include one or more stimulation sites, such as may have been identified as potential responders to CRT. A user can thus employ the electrode 134 and pace at various locations (e.g., in response to a user input to initiate stimulation). The analysis methods 124 of the output system 112 can compute a corresponding earliest activation 'zone' on the body surface in response to the stimulation (e.g., pacing). This can be performed directly on body surface electrical measurement data, for example, without solving the inverse problem and reconstructing the electrical data. In other examples, the analysis 124 can be performed on reconstructed electrical data for the heart. The zone function 130 can in turn identify the input channels on the body surface that provide the earliest activation time, thereby specifying relationship between the zone and the pacing site. As an example, a simple protocol that can be used in current venous lead placement approaches is to pace the potential veins that are amenable to lead placement to determine the relative correspondence to electrical sensors of the array 108, which correspond to a zone on the body surface. This will enable targeted further analysis pertaining to these zones, such as over a range of parameters and pacing protocols. This process can be utilized with other types of lead placement and cardiac therapies.

    [0062] By way of example, FIGS. 4 and 5 depict graphical maps surrogate electrical activity that can be generated based on the systems and methods disclosed herein, such as part of a CRT procedure. In FIG. 4, baseline body surface activation maps 140 are shown for different ROIs for surrogate regions of the heart, such as based on electrical measurements acquired for a predetermined sensing zone (or zones) before applying a therapy. Also shown in FIG. 4 are different ROIs 142 and 143 for surrogate heart regions, such as can be selected as disclosed herein.

    [0063] FIG. 5 demonstrates the same types of surrogate maps 146 generated for activation times computed from body surface measurements that have been acquired following delivery of therapy as disclosed herein. For example, the therapy can include electrical or other stimulation, such as part of a CRT procedure. A comparison between the maps depicted FIGS. 4 and 5 demonstrates an improved CRT response for each of the ROIs 142 and 143.

    [0064] Referring back to FIG. 3, the BSM/surrogate function 126 can further be programmed to compare the pre-therapy baseline surrogate estimate (e.g., of FIG. 4) relative to the post-therapy surrogate estimate of electrical activity (e.g., of FIG. 5). The comparison can be made between the pre-therapy and post-therapy surrogate estimates for the same sensing zone such as to provide an indication of the change in the cardiac electrical activity for a given therapy relative to the baseline measurements. Such comparison can also be performed for electrical characteristics computed by the analysis function 124 based on the pre-therapy baseline results and post therapy measured electrical activity for the given sensing zone. This can further be performed for each of a plurality of different respective sensing zones that provide surrogate estimates for different defined regions of the heart. In addition to comparing the baseline surrogate electrical characteristics relative to the intra- and/or post therapy surrogates, the analysis function 126 can compare the different electrical characteristics for the same ROI or a combination of ROIs for different therapy parameters and protocols. The therapy parameters can be stored with the electrical measurement data that is acquired during or after application of therapy. In this way, a user can review the results to help identify which therapy parameters and protocols help achieve a desired result.

    [0065] The map generator 118 can also generate a map to depict the pre- and post-therapy surrogate estimates. As disclosed above, the surrogate estimates for each sensing zone can be displayed in graphical maps superimposing the estimated values on the respective anatomic ROIs of the heart. The pre- and post-therapy maps (e.g., shown in FIGS. 4 and 5) can be displayed simultaneously at the display 116 such as in separate windows. Additionally, or alternatively, a comparative map (not shown) can be generated and visualized as a graphical map on the display 116.

    [0066] As further example, the analysis function 124 can be programmed to calculate pseudo activation times of non-invasively measured body surface electrical activity. For instance, the activation times can be calculated using a dv/dt method or another method (e.g., directional activation, such as disclosed in PCT Application No. PCT/US11/51954). The pseudo activation time can be computed for pre-therapy (e.g., baseline) and post-therapy body surface electrical data. Even without reconstructing the electrical data onto a cardiac envelope via solving the inverse problem, corresponding patterns of the pseudo activation times for one or more zones can be analyzed and visualized as a graphical map to provide a broad global estimate of sequence of activation, conduction velocity, early and late activation or each of a plurality of different sensing zones. Slow or blocked conduction can also be roughly estimated from such line patterns on the body surface as well. This can be used, for example, to delineate the approximately location of the septum or even the engagement of the conduction system.

    [0067] Continuing with the example of providing therapy to the heart via the device 134, body surface activation maps or potential map patterns for each sensing zone can be generated to provide surrogate estimates of synchrony information that can be utilized to help tune therapy parameters. The synchrony information for a given sensing zone can be derived from measurements made at different time intervals, each having unique different therapy parameters, can be compared to provide an indication how the corresponding ROI responds to the different therapy parameters. The comparison can be made by computing the difference between electrical characteristics in each zone between the baseline data and data acquired for each of the different therapy parameters. Alternatively or additionally, graphical maps can be presented concurrently on the display 116 for comparison by the user.

    [0068] As an example, the average timing change for the same given zone can be compared over a plurality of different pacing protocols and pacing parameters. The activation times or potential patterns can be compared for the same ROI. Alternatively or additionally, activation times or potential patterns can be compared for a combination of plural ROIs between baseline maps and paced maps including CRT.

    [0069] In addition to comparing different surrogate estimates derived for the same ROI over different therapy parameters, as mentioned above, the output system 100 can be utilized to facilitate spatial analysis of surrogate estimates of electrical information among a spatially diverse set of sensing zones. Such analysis can help characterize relative timing information for different spatial regions of the heart. For example, the electrical measurement data 110 can include body surface potentials acquired for a plurality of different predetermined sensing zones for a plurality of different time intervals. Each measurement time interval can correspond to a unique combination of therapy protocol and therapy parameters. The BSM/surrogate function 122 thus can compute a surrogate estimate of electrical activity or electrical characteristics based on a comparison of relative timing information computed based on the measured body surface electrical data for a combination of different zones at each measurement interval. By tracking changes in the relative timing (e.g., activation timing, or average timing, synchrony or dyssynchrony) for the different body surface zones with respect to different therapy protocols and parameters, the analysis function 126 can provide an estimate in improvement of cardiac function for the corresponding ROIs of the heart. The map generator 118 can generate graphical maps to demonstrate and visualize (e.g., via graphical map) the improvements to the user. Due to the reduced processing associated with the approach disclosed herein, the visualization can be generated in substantially real time graphical maps that may be update dynamically during testing.

    [0070] As another example, the direction of the changes in timing can also be employed to estimate improvement or reduction in synchrony or dyssynchrony. The activation times or potential patterns for can be evaluated to estimate cardiac dyssynchrony and classify the patient as 'dyssynchronous' based on threshold values determined from normal body surface maps. The activation times or potential patterns can be compared for the same region or a combination of regions for various combinations of pacing protocols and device parameters. The resulting timing information and direction of changes in timing can be implemented (e.g., as manual or automated feedback to the therapy system 132) to help control selection of the therapy parameters. QRST intervals or other measures of activation-repolarization measures could be also quantified based on surrogate estimates of electrical activity and compared similar to as disclosed above.

    [0071] In view of the foregoing, the output system 118 can be programmed to provide various temporal and spatial comparisons of surrogate estimates of electrical characteristics derived from electrical activity measured for one or a combination of sensing zones over a plurality of different time intervals. Different time intervals can correspond to different therapy parameters and protocols, such that the comparative data can be analyzed to determine which combination of parameters will achieve a desired therapeutic effect as disclosed herein. While the examples disclosed above in relation to programming therapy delivery were described in the context of using surrogate estimates (in the absence of solving the inverse problem), the same methods can be implemented on reconstructed electrograms for one or more sensing zone over a range of therapy parameters and protocols.

    [0072] As an example, another method to calibrate and identify the spatial zones on the body surface that correspond to key anatomical regions (e.g., pertaining to CRT) is to pace at various known locations and note the corresponding earliest activation 'zone' on the body surface. The activation time for each of the body surface electrodes can be computed, and the set of electrodes determined having the earliest activation time in response to the pacing stimulus can define a corresponding sensing zone for the stimulated anatomical region. For instance, a percentage of those electrodes exhibiting the earliest activation time can be defined as a respective sensing zone for the stimulated region. An example of a simple protocol that can be used in current venous lead placement approaches is to pace the potential veins that are amenable to lead placement to determine the relative correspondence on the body surface. This will enable targeted analysis pertaining to these zones.

    [0073] Further accuracy and refinement can be obtained by applying known anatomical constraints obtained from simple chest x-ray or fluoroscopic imaging to estimate the approximate location of the heart. Such anatomical location constraints can include, for example, center of the heart, apex of the heart, anterior septum (LAD), posterior septum (PDA), outflow tracts, valves and the like.

    [0074] FIG. 6 demonstrates an example of a workflow 200 that can be utilized for evaluating contributions of a selected region of interest for a patient's heart. In the workflow, at 202 ECM data is acquired. The ECM data can include body surface electrical data as well as geometry data such as can be acquired via a corresponding imaging modality. Alternatively, the geometry data can correspond to a model of a patient's heart. The model can be a generic model, a generic model adjusted based on some patient specific data or a model derived from patient-specific imaging data. For instance, a generic model can be adjusted based on manual measurements of the patient (e.g., chest measurements, patient weight or the like), based on measurements from imaging (e.g., x-ray, fluoroscopy, and ultrasound) or a combination of patient information.

    [0075] In the example workflow of FIG. 6, at 204, a region of interest of a patient's heart is also selected. The region of interest can correspond to any region of a patient's heart for which it is desirable to understand the contribution of a corresponding sensing zone to ECM analysis. In the example of FIG. 6 there are two generally parallel paths that are utilized for comparing and evaluating the effect of excluding electrode locations (and corresponding electrode signals) that do not significantly affect the accurate calculation of maps. Parallel does not require concurrent operations but instead indicates that the paths are sufficiently separate as to generate map data for different subsets taken from a common set of electrical measurements. In the following example, one subset is a proper subset of the other.

    [0076] With the acquired ECM data, at 206 potentials for a heart envelope can be computed. As used herein, the heart envelope can refer to any surface (e.g., actual or virtual) that may reside on, inside or outside a patient's heart that is spaced radially inwardly from the body surface at which the ECM data is acquired (at 202). In one example, the heart envelope can correspond to the outer three-dimensional surface of the epicardium, which may be the actual outer surface or an approximation thereof. At 208, corresponding map data can be generated based on the computed potentials for the heart envelope.

    [0077] In the other processing path, at 210, a sensing zone at the body surface for the selected ROI is identified, such as disclosed herein. At 212, the potentials for a heart envelope can be computed based on measurement data excluding the signals from sensors residing in the sensing zone that has been identified (at 210) for the ROI. At 214, corresponding map data can be generated from the heart electrical activity computed at 212.

    [0078] At 216, the respective maps (generated at 208 and 214) can be compared. The comparison can be made via one or more statistical methods. At 218, the contribution of the sensing zone for the ROI can be determined based on the comparison. For example, if there is a significant difference in the resulting maps, then the impact of removing the sensing zone for the selected region of interest is significant, which can be quantified by the statistical methods. On the other hand, if the comparison indicates that the maps are sufficiently similar, then the identified sensing zone for the ROI can be removed from the analysis while retaining sufficient accuracy in the resulting ECM data. Analysis similar to FIG. 6 can be repeatedly performed as part of the analysis for determining a configuration an arrangement of electrodes for a variety of specially adapted purposes.

    [0079] By way of example, FIG. 7 demonstrates a comparative example of reconstructed heart electrical activity for a heart envelope (e.g., the epicardial surface). In this example, a graphical map 220 for one reconstruction demonstrates results from using a full arrangement of electrodes (e.g., a full vest) 222. For example, the electrodes 222, for example, includes an arrangement of electrodes completely surrounding a patient's torso in a generally evenly distributed manner. In some examples, there can be greater than about 200 electrodes 222 in the form of a vest.

    [0080] Another representation of reconstructed heart electrical activity, demonstrated at 224, corresponds to ECM data computed for an application-specific arrangement of electrodes. That is the graphical map 224 can be generated (e.g., by the reconstruction method 120) based on electrical measurement data provided from an arrangement of electrodes configured for a predetermined sensing zone based upon the methods disclosed herein. The sensing zone in this example includes electrodes 228, demonstrated as darker objects, distributed mainly across front, left and back locations of the patient's body.

    [0081] A visual inspection of the reconstructed ECM for the full vest, demonstrated at 220, and the reconstruction 224 for the application-specific arrangement of electrodes demonstrates very similar results. The arrangement of electrodes for the application-specific arrangement of electrodes corresponds to a much simpler vest having a proper subset of electrodes 228 from the full vest 222 corresponding to a determined sensing zone for a selected ROI. In the example of FIG. 7, for example, the application-specific arrangement of electrodes can correspond to a vest having an ROI configured for performing CRT.

    [0082] FIG. 8 demonstrates an example of a system 150 for indicating one or more ROIs affected by contributions of electrodes residing within a given sensing zone. In some examples, the sensing zone can correspond to locations on the body surface where one or more bad channels reside or locations that can be otherwise identified, such as in response to a user input.

    [0083] In the example of FIG. 8, a channel detector 152 is configured to identify a subset of channels, corresponding to one or more sensing zones expected to adversely affect mapping of body surface electrical activity acquired for the zone. The channel detector 152 can identify the zone in response to a user input, based on measurement data (e.g., electrical measurement data 110 of FIG. 3) or a combination thereof. In some examples, the channel detector 154 can designate the sensing zone as including a set of bad channels. A bad channel can correspond to a body surface location at which an electrode does not adequately contact the body surface, which may be intentional or unintentional. Additionally or alternatively, a bad channel can correspond to channel having a signal to noise ratio that is below a threshold.

    [0084] A resolution calculator 154 is configured to compute an indication of the contribution that each electrode in the identified sensing zone (channels provided by the channel detector 152) has on the inverse solution for each point on the heart. The contribution, for example, can be determined by the resolution calculator computing coefficients for the transformation matrix 158 for each of the sensing channels for the zone for each point on the cardiac envelope.

    [0085] An evaluator 160 can analyze the computed coefficients (e.g., an absolute value thereof) to generate ROI data 162. For example, the evaluator 160 can employ a specificity parameter 164 and a sensitivity parameter 166 to control how the ROI 162 is determined. The sensitivity parameter 166 can be a user programmable threshold that can be set and compared to the absolute value of the computed transformation matrix coefficients. If a coefficient exceeds the threshold for a given node on the cardiac envelope, the electrode can be identified for the node as having a sufficient contribution to the reconstructed data at such node. There can be one or more coefficients at a given point on the envelope that can exceed the threshold. For instance, increasing the threshold value increases the spatial sensitivity for identifying a low resolution region on the cardiac envelope as it requires a greater spatial contribution. The sensitivity parameter can set a minimum number of hits for the computed coefficients needed to designate a low resolution area. Increasing the number of hits can increase the overall specificity for precisely identifying a low resolution area. Thus by setting the specificity and sensitivity parameters appropriately for a given sensing system, one or more low resolution region on the heart can be determined and used to inform the user accordingly.

    [0086] In some examples, the specificity and sensitivity parameters 164 and 166 can be pre-programmed (e.g., to default values) for system 150 (as well as the system 100 of FIG. 3) to determine circumstances when bad channels on the vest tend to create artifacts in the reconstruction. The information can be presented to the user as a notice or warning, such as afford an opportunity to take corrective action, such as by adjusting the electrodes to improve the sensing ability or changing the contribution of electrodes to the ROI. After corrective action is taken, the system 150 can recompute coefficients, such as in response to a user input, to determine if one or more low resolution region still exists. In some examples, a user can opt not to take corrective action, such as where the low resolution region is outside of a ROI considered important to the user for a given analysis. Alternatively or additionally, a user can adjust one or more of the sensitivity or specificity parameters to reevaluate the impact of the identified sensing zone (e.g., bad channels) on the inverse solution. Additional analysis by the evaluator may include comparing a computed low resolution region with respect to a user-selected ROI, such that an overlap between such regions can result in generating a warning or other notification.

    [0087] A map generator 168 can provide map data 170 for rendering a visualization based on the ROI data 162. For instance, the map data can be utilized for providing a graphical map of a low resolution region that is superimposed on a graphical map of a heart. The map generator 168 can correspond to the map generator 118 of FIG. 3, and the graphical map can be a three-dimensional map.

    [0088] FIG. 9 depicts an example of a graphical user interface (GUI) 172 that can be utilized for accessing the functions and methods of the system 150 demonstrated in FIG. 8. The GUI 172 can include multiple windows for displaying graphical representations of relevant data, such as can be associated with non-invasive measurement of body surface electrical activity. The GUI 172 also provides an interactive visualization that can be utilized for demonstrating one or more low resolution regions. For example the GUI 172 can include a graphical map 174 of a low resolution region 176 superimposed on a heart. The low resolution region can be computed according to the method of FIG. 8. The GUI can also include an interactive graphical display 178 of each of an arrangement of electrodes, demonstrated as including right and left front panels and a back panel. Other numbers and arrangements of electrodes can also be utilized, including the application specific electrode arrangements disclosed herein.

    [0089] The electrode display 178 can provide relevant status information of electrodes. For instance the electrode display can identify bad channels by graphically or otherwise differentiating the bad channels from other electrode channels. The designation of channels can be described by a scale 180, such as designating channels as good, bad, bad but editable and missing. Signals utilized for mapping the measured body surface potentials to the heart can also be displayed. A user can also manually designate a given channel as bad, which will result in the measurement data for such electrode being omitted from processing while it is designated as a bad channel. In the example of FIG. 9, the group of channels in the right front panel, demonstrated at 182, has been designated as bad channels but editable. In this example, the resulting low resolution region 176 thus identifies the region of the heart that is adversely affected by the bad electrodes 182.

    [0090] As a further example, FIG. 10 demonstrates graphical maps 230 and 232 representing of reconstructed heart electrical activity that has been computed from different sets of non-invasive body surface electrical measurements. In the example of FIG. 10, the graphical map 230 demonstrates reconstructed ECM data in the form of a potential map without any bad nodes (i.e., without compromising electrodes in a corresponding sensing zone). Also demonstrated is another graphical potential map 232 corresponding to reconstruction performed with patches applied to a patient's body surface, but outside of the sensing zone. For example, the patches can include other sensors and/or defibrillation patches that have been attached to the patient's torso. These other patches thus can overlap with and/or replace sensor electrodes from the arrangement of electrodes, as shown by shading in the electrode display GUI at 234. A comparison between the different maps demonstrates that the reconstruction is accurate.

    [0091] By way of further example, FIGS. 11 and 12 demonstrate simulated examples of reconstructed graphical maps for different sensing zones that have been determined for a selected region of interest of a patient's heart. For instance, the maps can be produced via inverse reconstruction for the entire heart surface (or other cardiac envelope) based on electrical measurement and geometry data acquired for all electrodes, as disclosed herein. Each of these examples demonstrates the effect of removing sensed body surface channels, corresponding to electrode sensing locations, demonstrated in these examples as bad channels.

    [0092] FIG. 11 demonstrates effects of bad channels on a reconstructed potential map for a given sensing zone 248, such as can be determined for an arrangement of electrodes 249 from a transformation matrix for a given ROI, as disclosed herein. In FIG. 11, four graphical maps are depicted at 250, 252, 254 and 256. Each of the maps 250, 252, 254 and 256 have been generated based on the same electrical measurement data, but with different contributions from certain sensing zones.

    [0093] For example, the map 250 demonstrates a resulting graphical map where no bad channels exist, such as can be produced via reconstruction for the entire heart surface based on electrical measurement data acquired for all electrodes 249. The map 252 demonstrates a situation where bad channels form the sensing zone 248 of an arrangement of electrodes that has been determined to be critical (e.g., for sensing electrical activity at a selected ROI). That is, the map 252 is generated in the absence of electrical measurement data from the sensing zone 248. The map 254 demonstrates a resulting graphical map where a cluster of bad channels 260 (Bad Channel Cluster 1) overlaps with the critical sensing zone 248. In contrast, the map 256 demonstrates a resulting graphical map where a cluster of bad channels 262 (Bad Channel Cluster 2) resides outside of the critical sensing zone 258. In contrast to the maps 252 and 254, the resulting map 256 is substantially similar to the graphical map 250. This is because the bad channels are outside or mostly outside of the determined sensing zone 248. That is, different channels are removed from the inputs to the algorithm used to generate the heart electrical activity from the body surface electrical measurements. Thus, the results in the examples of FIG. 11 demonstrate a distinct difference between removing electrodes from inside or outside of the sensing zone 248.

    [0094] The example, of FIG. 12 is similar to FIG. 11, in that it demonstrates the effects of removing channels (e.g., bad channels) relative to a given sensing zone 264, such as can be determined for an arrangement of electrodes from a transformation matrix for a selected ROI, as disclosed herein. In contrast to the example of FIG. 11, however, the sensing zone for the selected ROI is generally evenly distributed across the arrangement of electrodes. In the example of FIG. 12, contribution of corresponding coefficients in the transfer matrix A-1 are also evenly distributed across the arrangement of electrode sensing locations.

    [0095] In the example of FIG. 12, the map 266 demonstrates a resulting graphical map computed based on electrical measurements where no bad channels exist. The map 268 is generated in the absence of electrical measurement data from the sensing zone 264 (e.g., electrical measurement data for the sensing zone 264 are removed). The map 270 demonstrates a resulting graphical map where a cluster of bad channels 272 (Bad Channel Cluster 1) overlaps with the sensing zone 264. In contrast, the map 274 demonstrates a resulting graphical map where a cluster of bad channels 276 (Bad Channel Cluster 2) resides outside of the critical sensing zone 264.

    [0096] A comparison of the graphical maps 266, 268, 270 and 274 demonstrates that the resulting difference between the "gold standard" graphical map 266 for the graphical representation of reconstructed electrical activity for the full set of electrodes relative to the other examples in which electrode clusters have been removed from the analysis are relatively small. This suggests that the impact of removing electrodes for certain ROls may have little impact on the resulting computations for heart electrical activity data.

    [0097] FIGS. 13A, 13B and 13C demonstrate examples of different types of maps that can be generated from a common set of electrical measurement data, such as can be generated by the map generator 118 of FIG. 3. FIG. 13A shows a resulting isochrone map of voltage potentials reconstructed (by solving the inverse problem) onto the surface of a heart based on body surface electrical measurements and patient geometry data (e.g., from a computed tomography scan). FIG. 13B depicts a simulated graphical map of isochrones that is reconstructed generated based on electrical body surface electrical measurements for a predetermined sensing zone and patient geometry data. For instance, the body surface measurements can be obtained using an application-specific arrangement of electrodes determined for a desired ROI, as disclosed herein. FIG. 13C depicts a simulated graphical map of isochrones that is projected onto the heart (in the absence of solving the inverse problem) based on electrical body surface electrical measurements for a predetermined sensing zone and patient geometry data. A comparison of the resulting maps of FIGS. 13A, 13B and 13C demonstrates the efficacy of using an application-specific arrangement of electrodes, without or without inverse reconstruction.

    [0098] In view of the foregoing structural and functional description, those skilled in the art will appreciate that portions of the invention may be embodied as a method, data processing system, or computer program product. Accordingly, these portions of the present invention may take the form of an entirely hardware embodiment, an entirely software embodiment, or an embodiment combining software and hardware, such as shown and described with respect to the computer system of FIG. 14. Furthermore, portions of the invention may be a computer program product on a computer-usable storage medium having computer readable program code on the medium. Any suitable computer-readable medium may be utilized including, but not limited to, static and dynamic storage devices, hard disks, optical storage devices, and magnetic storage devices.

    [0099] Certain embodiments of the invention have also been described herein with reference to block illustrations of methods, systems, and computer program products. It will be understood that blocks of the illustrations, and combinations of blocks in the illustrations, can be implemented by computer-executable instructions. These computer-executable instructions may be provided to one or more processor of a general purpose computer, special purpose computer, or other programmable data processing apparatus (or a combination of devices and circuits) to produce a machine, such that the instructions, which execute via the processor, implement the functions specified in the block or blocks.

    [0100] These computer-executable instructions may also be stored in computer-readable memory that can direct a computer or other programmable data processing apparatus to function in a particular manner, such that the instructions stored in the computer-readable memory result in an article of manufacture including instructions which implement the function specified in the flowchart block or blocks. The computer program instructions may also be loaded onto a computer or other programmable data processing apparatus to cause a series of operational steps to be performed on the computer or other programmable apparatus to produce a computer implemented process such that the instructions which execute on the computer or other programmable apparatus provide steps for implementing the functions specified in the flowchart block or blocks.

    [0101] In this regard, FIG. 14 illustrates one example of a computer system 300 that can be employed to execute one or more embodiments of the invention, such as including acquisition and processing of sensor data, processing of image data, as well as analysis of transformed sensor data and image data associated with the analysis of cardiac electrical activity. Computer system 300 can be implemented on one or more general purpose networked computer systems, embedded computer systems, routers, switches, server devices, client devices, various intermediate devices/nodes or stand alone computer systems. Additionally, computer system 300 can be implemented on various mobile clients such as, for example, a personal digital assistant (PDA), laptop computer, pager, and the like, provided it includes sufficient processing capabilities.

    [0102] Computer system 300 includes processing unit 301, system memory 302, and system bus 303 that couples various system components, including the system memory, to processing unit 301. Dual microprocessors and other multiprocessor architectures also can be used as processing unit 301. System bus 303 may be any of several types of bus structure including a memory bus or memory controller, a peripheral bus, and a local bus using any of a variety of bus architectures. System memory 302 includes read only memory (ROM) 304 and random access memory (RAM) 305. A basic input/output system (BIOS) 306 can reside in ROM 304 containing the basic routines that help to transfer information among elements within computer system 300.

    [0103] Computer system 300 can include a hard disk drive 307, magnetic disk drive 308, e.g., to read from or write to removable disk 309, and an optical disk drive 310, e.g., for reading CD-ROM disk 311 or to read from or write to other optical media. Hard disk drive 307, magnetic disk drive 308, and optical disk drive 310 are connected to system bus 303 by a hard disk drive interface 312, a magnetic disk drive interface 313, and an optical drive interface 314, respectively. The drives and their associated computer-readable media provide nonvolatile storage of data, data structures, and computer-executable instructions for computer system 300. Although the description of computer-readable media above refers to a hard disk, a removable magnetic disk and a CD, other types of media that are readable by a computer, such as magnetic cassettes, flash memory cards, digital video disks and the like, in a variety of forms, may also be used in the operating environment; further, any such media may contain machine-readable instructions that can be executed by a processor (e.g., processing unit 301) for implementing one or more functions and methods disclosed herein.

    [0104] A number of program modules may be stored in drives and RAM 305, including operating system 315, one or more application programs 316, other program modules 317, and program data 318. The application programs and program data can include functions and methods programmed to acquire, process and display electrical data from one or more sensors, such as shown and described herein.

    [0105] The application programs and program data can include functions and methods programmed to determine a sensing zone as disclosed herein. The application programs and program data can also include functions and methods programmed to generate an electrocardiographic map using a transformation matrix configured to reconstruct electrical signals for a region of interest from a predetermined proper subset of body surface channels for a predetermined sensing zone.

    [0106] As an example, the application programs 316 and program data 318 can be configured to implement a computer-implemented method that can identify a ROI and determine a zone on a body surface of the patient based on analysis of electrical activity for the ROI relative to electrical activity on the body surface. The resulting electrical activity for the zone on the body surface can provides a surrogate estimate for electrical activity of the region of interest as disclosed herein. In other examples, the electrical activity measured at the body surface can be used to reconstruct electrical activity onto a cardiac envelope, such as a surface of an internal organ (e.g., the heart or brain). The electrical activity, whether it be a surrogate estimate or reconstructed on to the cardiac envelope can be presented in a graphical map via the output device 324). The method can also be stored in a non-transitory machine-readable media 302, 304, 305, 307, 308, 310 and/or 340.

    [0107] In addition to mapping electrical activity and related computed electrical characteristics, as disclosed herein, the computer system 100 can also be configured store and execute instructions to compute a low resolution region of interest based on a set of designated input channels (e.g., bad channels), as disclosed with respect to FIGS. 8 and 9.

    [0108] A user may enter commands and information into computer system 300 through one or more input devices 320, such as a pointing device (e.g., a mouse, touch screen), keyboard, microphone, joystick, game pad, scanner, and the like. For instance, the user can employ input device 320 to edit or modify a domain model. These and other input devices 320 are often connected to processing unit 301 through a corresponding port interface 322 that is coupled to the system bus, but may be connected by other interfaces, such as a parallel port, serial port, or universal serial bus (USB). One or more output devices 324 (e.g., display, a monitor, printer, projector, or other type of displaying device) is also connected to system bus 303 via interface 326, such as a video adapter.

    [0109] Computer system 300 may operate in a networked environment using logical connections to one or more remote computers, such as remote computer 328. Remote computer 328 may be a workstation, computer system, router, peer device, or other common network node, and typically includes many or all the elements described relative to computer system 300. The logical connections, schematically indicated at 330, can include a local area network (LAN) and a wide area network (WAN).

    [0110] When used in a LAN networking environment, computer system 300 can be connected to the local network through a network interface or adapter 332. When used in a WAN networking environment, computer system 300 can include a modem, or can be connected to a communications server on the LAN. The modem, which may be internal or external, can be connected to system bus 303 via an appropriate port interface. In a networked environment, application programs 316 or program data 318 depicted relative to computer system 300, or portions thereof, may be stored in a remote memory storage device 340.

    [0111] As used herein, the term "includes" means includes but not limited to, the term "including" means including but not limited to. The term "based on" means based at least in part on. Additionally, where the disclosure or claims recite "a," "an," "a first," or "another" element, or the equivalent thereof, it should be interpreted to include one or more than one such element, neither requiring nor excluding two or more such elements.


    Claims

    1. A computer-implemented method comprising:

    identifying, based on user input, a region of interest for an anatomical structure comprising a selected region of a heart in a patient's body;

    determining, in a processor, a sensing zone as a proper subset of a plurality of electrodes positioned on a body surface of the patient's body corresponding to the region of interest by computing a transfer matrix having coefficients

    correlating electrical activity at the region of interest with body surface electrical activity measured by the subset of the plurality of electrodes, wherein the body surface electrical activity in the sensing zone provides a surrogate estimate for electrical activity of the region of interest.


     
    2. The method of claim 1, further comprising:

    acquiring electrical signals from the subset of the plurality of electrodes; and

    converting the acquired electrical signals to the electrical activity for the region of interest via an inverse reconstruction based on the transfer matrix.


     
    3. The method of claim 1, further comprising:

    acquiring body surface electrical potentials from the sensing zone; and

    analyzing the acquired body surface electrical potentials for the sensing zone to provide the surrogate estimate for electrical activity of the selected region of the heart.


     
    4. The method of claim 1, further comprising:

    acquiring electrical potentials for each of a plurality of different spatial zones on the body surface, wherein each of the plurality of the plurality of different spatial zones corresponds to a different region of interest within the patient's heart;

    analyzing the acquired electrical potentials for each of the plurality of different spatial zones; and

    computing different surrogate estimates of electrical activity for each of a the plurality of corresponding spatial regions of interest of the heart.


     
    5. The method of claim 4, wherein the different surrogate estimates provide an indication of at least one of an activation time or a recovery time for each of the plurality of corresponding spatial regions of the heart.
     
    6. The method of claim 4,
    wherein the acquiring further comprises:

    acquiring a first set of body surface electrical data by measuring electrical potentials for each of a plurality of different predetermined zones on the body surface during a first time interval; and

    acquiring a second set of body surface electrical data by measuring electrical potentials for each of the plurality of different predetermined zones on the body surface during another time interval;

    the method further comprising:

    computing a first surrogate estimate of electrical activity for each of a plurality of corresponding spatial regions of interest of the heart based on the first set of body surface electrical data; and

    computing a second surrogate estimate of electrical activity for each of a plurality of corresponding spatial regions of interest of the heart based on the another set of body surface electrical data.


     
    7. The method of claim 6, further comprising at least one of spatially and temporally comparing the first surrogate estimate of electrical activity and the second surrogate estimate of electrical activity.
     
    8. The method of claim 4,
    wherein the acquiring further comprises:

    acquiring a first set of body surface electrical data by measuring electrical potentials for at least one of a plurality of different predetermined zones on the body surface during a first time interval; and

    acquiring a second set of body surface electrical data by measuring electrical potentials for the same at least one of the plurality of different predetermined zones on the body surface during another time interval;

    the method further comprising:

    computing a first surrogate estimate of electrical activity for each of a plurality of corresponding spatial regions of interest of the heart based on the first set of body surface electrical data;

    computing a second surrogate estimate of electrical activity for each of a plurality of corresponding spatial regions of interest of the heart based on the another set of body surface electrical data; and

    comparing the first surrogate estimate of electrical activity and the second surrogate estimate of electrical activity.


     
    9. The method of claim 1, wherein the region of interest is identified based on the sensing zone, the method further comprising:

    determining a set of one or more sensing channels, corresponding to the zone, expected to adversely affect mapping of body surface electrical activity acquired for the zone,

    wherein the region of interest corresponds to a low resolution region of the anatomical structure that is identified based on coefficients of the transformation matrix calculated for each of the sensing channels for the zone.


     
    10. The method of claim 9, wherein an impact of the set of sensing channels on a resolution for the region of interest is determined based on at least one of a specificity parameter and a sensitivity parameter.
     
    11. The method of claim 1, wherein the region of interest comprises a plurality of nodes, wherein for each node residing within the region of interest, the method further comprises determining a contribution of each of a plurality of body surface electrode locations based on computing coefficients of the transformation matrix for each respective node of the region of interest, and evaluating the contribution of each of the plurality of body surface electrode locations to the plurality of nodes to determine the sensing zone, wherein a proper subset of the plurality of body surface electrodes defines the sensing zone.
     
    12. The method of claim 1, wherein the region of interest comprises a selected region of the heart, the method further comprising:

    accessing body surface electrical potentials sensed according to an arrangement of body surface electrodes applied to at least the spatial zone at body surface of the patient;

    analyzing the acquired body surface electrical potentials for the zone to provide the surrogate estimate for the selected region of the heart; and

    generating a graphical map of electrical activity for the selected region of the heart based on the surrogate estimate and the body surface electrical potentials measured for the spatial zone.


     
    13. The method of claim 12, further comprising:

    identifying the proper subset of body surface channels that contribute the most to each and every location of the heart; and

    constructing the transformation matrix for the identified proper subset of body surface channels.


     
    14. The method of any preceding claim, further comprising generating at least one graphical map based on the surrogate estimate for electrical activity of the region of interest.
     
    15. The method of claim 14, wherein generating the graphical map includes at least one of:

    generating the graphical map of the heart based on reconstructed electrical signals computed by solving an inverse problem based on the electrical signals sensed from the body surface electrodes based on the transfer matrix; and

    generating the graphical map of the heart based on reconstructed electrical signals computed by solving the inverse problem based on the surrogate estimate for electrical activity of the region of interest based on the transfer matrix.


     


    Ansprüche

    1. Computer-implementiertes Verfahren, das Folgendes umfasst:

    das Identifizieren, basierend auf einer Benutzereingabe, eines Bereichs von Interesse einer anatomischen Struktur, die einen ausgewählten Bereich eines Herzens im Körper eines Patienten umfasst;

    das Bestimmen, in einem Prozessor, einer Erfassungszone als eine geeignete Teilmenge einer Vielzahl von Elektroden, die auf einer Körperoberfläche des Körpers des Patienten ausgerichtet sind, welche dem Bereich von Interesse entspricht, indem eine Übertragungsmatrix mit Koeffizienten berechnet wird, die elektrische Aktivität in dem Bereich von Interesse mit der durch die Teilmenge der Vielzahl von Elektroden gemessenen elektrischen Körperoberflächenaktivität korrellieren, wobei die elektrische Aktivität der Körperoberfläche in der Erfassungszone eine Ersatzschätzung für elektrische Aktivität des Bereichs von Interesse bereitstellt.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, das ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    das Erfassen elektrischer Signale von der Teilmenge der Vielzahl von Elektroden; und

    das Umwandeln der erfassten elektrischen Signale in die elektrische Aktivität für den Bereich von Interesse über eine inverse Rekonstruktion basierend auf der Übertragungsmatrix.


     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1,
    das ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    das Erfassen elektrischer Körperoberflächenpotentiale von der Erfassungszone; und

    das Analysieren der erfassten elektrischen Körperoberflächenpotentiale für die Erfassungszone, um die Ersatzschätzung für elektrische Aktivität des ausgewählten Bereichs des Herzens bereitzustellen.


     
    4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1,
    das ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    das Erfassen elektrischer Potentiale für jede einer Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen räumlichen Zonen auf der Körperoberfläche, wobei jede der Vielzahl von unterschiedlichen räumlichen Zonen einem unterschiedlichen Bereich von Interesse innerhalb des Herzens des Patienten entspricht;

    das Analysieren der erfassten elektrischen Potentiale für jede der Vielzahl unterschiedlicher räumlicher Zonen; und

    das Berechnen unterschiedlicher Ersatzschätzungen elektrischer Aktivität für jeden der Vielzahl entsprechender räumlicher Bereiche von Interesse des Herzens.


     
    5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 4, wobei die unterschiedlichen Ersatzschätzungen einen Hinweis auf mindestens eine von einer Aktivierungszeit oder einer Erholungszeit für jeden der Vielzahl von entsprechenden räumlichen Bereichen des Herzens bereitstellen.
     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 4,
    wobei das Erfassen ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    das Erfassen eines ersten Satzes elektrischer Körperoberflächendaten durch Messen elektrischer Potenziale für jede einer Vielzahl unterschiedlicher vorbestimmter Zonen auf der Körperoberfläche während eines ersten Zeitintervalls; und

    das Erfassen eines zweiten Satzes elektrischer Körperoberflächendaten durch Messen elektrischer Potenziale für jede der Vielzahl unterschiedlicher vorbestimmter Zonen auf der Körperoberfläche während eines anderen Zeitintervalls;

    wobei das Verfahren ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    das Berechnen einer ersten Ersatzschätzung elektrischer Aktivität für jeden einer Vielzahl entsprechender räumlicher Bereiche von Interesse des Herzens basierend auf dem ersten Satz elektrischer Körperoberflächendaten; und

    das Berechnen einer zweiten Ersatzschätzung elektrischer Aktivität für jeden einer Vielzahl entsprechender räumlichen Bereiche von Interesse des Herzens basierend auf dem anderen Satz elektrischer Körperoberflächendaten.


     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 6, das ferner mindestens eins von räumlichem und zeitlichem Vergleichen der ersten Ersatzschätzung elektrischer Aktivität und der zweiten Ersatzschätzung elektrischer Aktivität umfasst.
     
    8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 4,
    wobei das Erfassen ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    das Erfassen eines ersten Satzes elektrischer Körperoberflächendaten durch Messen elektrischer Potentiale für mindestens eine einer Vielzahl unterschiedlicher vorbestimmter Zonen auf der Körperoberfläche während eines ersten Zeitintervalls; und

    das Erfassen eines zweiten Satzes elektrischer Körperoberflächendaten durch Messen elektrischer Potentiale für die gleiche zumindest eine der Vielzahl unterschiedlicher vorbestimmter Zonen auf der Körperoberfläche während eines anderen Zeitintervalls;

    wobei das Verfahren ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    das Berechnen einer ersten Ersatzschätzung elektrischer Aktivität für jeden einer Vielzahl entsprechender räumlicher Bereiche von Interesse des Herzens basierend auf dem ersten Satz elektrischer Körperoberflächendaten;

    das Berechnen einer zweiten Ersatzschätzung der elektrischer Aktivität für jeden einer Vielzahl von entsprechender räumlicher Bereiche von Interesse des Herzens basierend auf dem anderen Satz elektrischer Körperoberflächendaten; und

    das Vergleichen der ersten Ersatzschätzung elektrischer Aktivität und der zweiten Ersatzschätzung elektrischer Aktivität.


     
    9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Bereich von Interesse basierend auf der Erfassungszone identifiziert wird, wobei das Verfahren ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    das Bestimmen eines Satzes von einem oder mehreren Erfassungskanälen, die der Zone entsprechen, von der erwartet wird, dass sie die Abbildung der elektrischen Aktivität der Körperoberfläche, die für die Zone erfasst wird, nachteilig beeinflusst,

    wobei der Bereich von Interesse einem Bereich niedriger Auflösung der anatomischen Struktur entspricht, die basierend auf Koeffizienten der Transformationsmatrix identifiziert wird, die für jeden der Erfassungskanäle für die Zone berechnet wird.


     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, wobei ein Einfluss des Satzes von Erfassungskanälen auf eine Auflösung für den Bereich von Interesse basierend auf mindestens einem Spezifitätsparameter und einem Empfindlichkeitsparameter bestimmt wird.
     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Bereich von Interesse eine Vielzahl von Knoten umfasst, wobei für jeden Knoten innerhalb des Bereichs von Interesse das Verfahren ferner das Bestimmen eines Beitrags von jedem einer Vielzahl von Körperoberflächenelektrodenstellen umfasst, basierend auf der Berechnung von Koeffizienten der Transformationsmatrix für jeden jeweiligen Knoten des Bereichs von Interesse, und das Auswerten des Beitrags von jedem der Vielzahl von Körperoberflächenelektrodenstellen auf die Vielzahl von Knoten zum Bestimmen der Erfassungszone umfasst, wobei eine geeignete Teilmenge der Vielzahl von Körperoberflächenelektroden den Erfassungsbereich definiert.
     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Bereich einen ausgewählten Bereich des Herzens umfasst, wobei das Verfahren ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    das Zugreifen auf elektrische Körperoberflächenpotentiale, die gemäß einer Anordnung von Körperoberflächenelektroden erfasst werden, die mindestens an der räumlichen Zone an der Körperoberfläche des Patienten angebracht sind;

    das Analysieren der erfassten elektrischen Körperoberflächenpotentiale für die Zone, um die Ersatzschätzung für den ausgewählten Bereich des Herzens bereitzustellen; und

    das Erzeugen einer graphischen Karte elektrischer Aktivität für den ausgewählten Bereich des Herzens basierend auf der Ersatzschätzung und den elektrischen Körperoberflächenpotentialen, die für die räumliche Zone gemessen werden.


     
    13. Verfahren nach Anspruch 12, das ferner Folgendes umfasst:

    das Identifizieren der geeigneten Teilmenge von Körperoberflächenkanälen, die das Meiste an jeder einzelnen Stelle des Herzens beitragen; und

    das Konstruieren der Transformationsmatrix für die identifizierte geeignete Teilmenge von Körperoberflächenkanälen.


     
    14. Verfahren nach einem der vorstehenden Ansprüche, das ferner das Erzeugen mindestens einer graphischen Karte basierend auf der Ersatzschätzung elektrischer Aktivität des Bereichs von Interesse umfasst.
     
    15. Verfahren nach Anspruch 14, wobei das Erzeugen der graphischen Karte mindestens eines von Folgendem umfasst:

    das Erzeugen der graphischen Karte des Herzens basierend auf rekonstruierten elektrischen Signalen, die durch Lösen eines inversen Problems basierend auf den von den Körperoberflächenelektroden erfassten elektrischen Signalen basierend auf der Transfermatrix berechnet werden;

    das Erzeugen der graphischen Karte des Herzens basierend auf rekonstruierten elektrischen Signalen, die durch Lösen des inversen Problems, basierend auf der Ersatzschätzung elektrischer Aktivität des Bereichs von Interesse auf Basis auf der Transfermatrix, berechnet werden.


     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé mis en oeuvre par ordinateur comprenant :

    l'identification, sur la base d'une saisie utilisateur, d'une région d'intérêt pour une structure anatomique comprenant une région sélectionnée d'un coeur dans le corps d'un patient ;

    la détermination, dans un processeur, d'une zone de détection en tant que sous-ensemble adéquat d'une pluralité d'électrodes positionnées sur une surface corporelle du corps du patient correspondant à la région d'intérêt en calculant une matrice de transfert ayant des coefficients

    la corrélation de l'activité électrique au niveau de la région d'intérêt avec une activité électrique de surface corporelle mesurée par le sous-ensemble de la pluralité d'électrodes, dans lequel l'activité électrique de surface corporelle dans la zone de détection fournit une estimation de remplacement pour l'activité électrique de la région d'intérêt.


     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :

    l'acquisition de signaux électriques à partir du sous-ensemble de la pluralité d'électrodes ; et

    la conversion des signaux électriques acquis en l'activité électrique pour la région d'intérêt par l'intermédiaire d'une reconstruction inverse basée sur la matrice de transfert.


     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 1,
    comprenant en outre :

    l'acquisition de potentiels électriques de surface corporelle à partir de la zone de détection ; et

    l'analyse des potentiels électriques de surface corporelle acquis pour la zone de détection pour fournir l'estimation de remplacement pour l'activité électrique de la région sélectionnée du coeur.


     
    4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre :

    l'acquisition de potentiels électriques pour chacune d'une pluralité de zones spatiales différentes sur la surface corporelle, dans lequel chacune de la pluralité de la pluralité de zones spatiales différentes correspond à une région d'intérêt différente au sein du coeur du patient ;

    l'analyse des potentiels électriques acquis pour chacune de la pluralité de zones spatiales différentes ; et

    le calcul de différentes estimations de remplacement d'activité électrique pour chacune de la pluralité de régions spatiales d'intérêt correspondantes du coeur.


     
    5. Procédé selon la revendication 4, dans lequel les différentes estimations de remplacement fournissent une indication d'au moins l'un parmi un temps d'activation ou un temps de rétablissement pour chacune parmi la pluralité de régions spatiales correspondantes du coeur.
     
    6. Procédé selon la revendication 4,
    dans lequel l'acquisition comprend en outre :

    l'acquisition d'un premier ensemble de données électriques de surface corporelle en mesurant des potentiels électriques pour chacune d'une pluralité de zones prédéterminées différentes sur la surface corporelle pendant un premier intervalle de temps ; et

    l'acquisition d'un deuxième ensemble de données électriques de surface corporelle en mesurant des potentiels électriques pour chacune parmi la pluralité de zones prédéterminées différentes sur la surface corporelle pendant un autre intervalle de temps ;

    le procédé comprenant en outre :

    le calcul d'une première estimation de remplacement d'activité électrique pour chacune d'une pluralité de régions spatiales d'intérêt correspondantes du coeur sur la base du premier ensemble de données électriques de surface corporelle ; et

    le calcul d'une deuxième estimation de remplacement d'activité électrique pour chacune d'une pluralité de régions spatiales d'intérêt correspondantes du coeur sur la base d'un autre ensemble de données électriques de surface corporelle.


     
    7. Procédé selon la revendication 6, comprenant en outre au moins l'une parmi une comparaison spatiale et temporelle de la première estimation de remplacement d'activité électrique et de la deuxième estimation de remplacement d'activité électrique.
     
    8. Procédé selon la revendication 4,
    dans lequel l'acquisition comprend en outre :

    l'acquisition d'un premier ensemble de données électriques de surface corporelle en mesurant des potentiels électriques pour au moins l'une d'une pluralité de zones prédéterminées différentes sur la surface corporelle pendant un premier intervalle de temps ; et

    l'acquisition d'un deuxième ensemble de données électriques de surface corporelle en mesurant des potentiels électriques pour la même au moins une parmi la pluralité de zones prédéterminées différentes sur la surface corporelle pendant un autre intervalle de temps ;

    le procédé comprenant en outre :

    le calcul d'une première estimation de remplacement d'activité électrique pour chacune d'une pluralité de régions spatiales d'intérêt correspondantes du coeur sur la base du premier ensemble de données électriques de surface corporelle ;

    le calcul d'une deuxième estimation de remplacement d'activité électrique pour chacune d'une pluralité de régions spatiales d'intérêt correspondantes du coeur sur la base de l'autre ensemble de données électriques de surface corporelle ; et

    la comparaison de la première estimation de remplacement d'activité électrique et de la deuxième estimation de remplacement d'activité électrique.


     
    9. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la région d'intérêt est identifiée sur la base de la zone de détection, le procédé comprenant en outre :

    la détermination d'un ensemble d'un ou plusieurs canaux de détection, correspondant à la zone, censés influencer défavorablement une cartographie d'activité électrique de surface corporelle acquise pour la zone,

    dans lequel la région d'intérêt correspond à une région à faible résolution de la structure anatomique qui est identifiée sur la base de coefficients de la matrice de transformation calculée pour chacun des canaux de détection pour la zone.


     
    10. Procédé selon la revendication 9, dans lequel un impact de l'ensemble de canaux de détection sur une résolution pour la région d'intérêt est déterminé sur la base d'au moins l'un parmi un paramètre de spécificité et un paramètre de sensibilité.
     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la région d'intérêt comprend une pluralité de noeuds, dans lequel pour chaque noeud se trouvant au sein de la région d'intérêt, le procédé comprend en outre la détermination d'une contribution de chacun d'une pluralité d'emplacements d'électrode de surface corporelle sur la base du calcul de coefficients de la matrice de transformation pour chaque noeud respectif de la région d'intérêt, et l'évaluation de la contribution de chacun parmi la pluralité d'emplacements d'électrode de surface corporelle à la pluralité de noeuds pour déterminer la zone de détection, dans lequel un sous-ensemble adéquat de la pluralité d'électrodes de surface corporelle définit la zone de détection.
     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la région d'intérêt comprend une région sélectionnée du coeur, le procédé comprenant en outre :

    l'accès des potentiels électriques de surface corporelle détectés selon un agencement d'électrodes de surface corporelle appliquées au moins à la zone spatiale au niveau de la surface corporelle du patient ;

    l'analyse des potentiels électriques de surface corporelle acquis pour la zone pour fournir l'estimation de remplacement pour la région sélectionnée du coeur ; et

    la génération d'une carte graphique d'activité électrique pour la région sélectionnée du coeur sur la base de l'estimation de remplacement et des potentiels électriques de surface corporelle mesurés pour la zone spatiale.


     
    13. Procédé selon la revendication 12, comprenant en outre :

    l'identification du sous-ensemble adéquat de canaux de surface corporelle qui contribuent le plus à chacun des emplacements du coeur ; et

    la construction de la matrice de transformation pour le sous-ensemble adéquat identifié de canaux de surface corporelle.


     
    14. Procédé selon une quelconque revendication précédente, comprenant en outre la génération d'au moins une carte graphique sur la base de l'estimation de remplacement pour l'activité électrique de la région d'intérêt.
     
    15. Procédé selon la revendication 14, dans lequel la génération de la carte graphique inclut au moins l'une parmi :

    la génération de la carte graphique du coeur sur la base de signaux électriques reconstruits calculés par résolution d'un problème inverse sur la base des signaux électriques détectés à partir des électrodes de surface corporelle sur la base de la matrice de transfert ;

    la génération de la carte graphique du coeur sur la base de signaux électriques reconstruits calculés par résolution du problème inverse sur la base de l'estimation de remplacement pour l'activité électrique de la région d'intérêt sur la base de la matrice de transfert.


     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description