Solving the Inverse Problem of Electrocardiography

QRS Vectors in Solving the Inverse Problem of Electrocardiography

Hereditary heart diseases can lead to heart failure or life-threatening arrhythmias with sudden onset of heart failure or cardiac death as a result. Relatives of patients may have this hereditary predisposition and arrhythmias and sudden death may be the first manifestations of the disease. In men this is often seen as a more serious disease and a higher risk of death, in women symptoms may manifest themselves differently. The aim of QRS-VISION is to develop new, advanced diagnostic techniques in asymptomatic family members with hereditary predisposition to recognize early signs of heart muscle disease and to predict its course. Through combining advanced electrophysiological and imaging techniques, high-risk patients can be identified and sudden cardiac death prevented.

The main results of research over the past five years is the development of two methods to improve the early detection and risk stratification of inherited heart diseases. Method 1: electrode (re)positioning based on a 3D camera arm setup. Method 2: The inverse ECG techniques have been improved to provide non-invasive insight into the activation pattern during sinus rhythm.

With the 3D camera technology, the ECG diagnostics is improved by excluding that observed waveform changes that can occur over time due to variables placement of the ECG electrodes. With this new method,  it is with more certainty to say that changes in waveform are due to disease progression. With the improved inverse ECG methods, the early detection of onset and progression in hereditary heart disease is optimized. By using detailed methods based on the ECG use, early electrical signs of illness can be detected.

Electrical remodelling is often the first sign of disease manifestation, thus subtle electrical changes must be detected before adverse events occur. During disease progression, subtle waveform changes of the conventional 12 lead ECG as possible markers of increased cardiac risk may go unnoticed due to a lack of reproducibility of the conventional ECG due to imprecise electrode placement. QRS-Vision aims to develop novel diagnostic techniques to assess the diseased state, progression and cardiac risk of yet asymptomatic mutation carriers without any detectible clinical signs of disease by combining advanced electrophysiological and imaging techniques.
Technology Readiness Level (TRL)
3 - 6
Time period
42 months