Adaptive harmonic frequency schemes of atrial ECG reveal divergent patterns of organization during catheter ablation of persistent atrial fibrillation
Introduction: We hypothesized that organization indices based on the analysis of atrial ECG harmonic components may help identify patients (pts) with persistent AF (pAF) unresponsive to pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) and left atrial (LA) ablation. Using adaptive harmonic frequency tracking schemes, we computed on the atrial ECG: 1) the variance of the phase difference (aPD) between the dominant frequency (DF) and the 1st harmonic (H1), and 2) the organization index (AOI) defined as the ratio of the power of the DF and H1 over the total power of the unprocessed atrial signal as measures of AF regularity. Methods: In 34 consecutive pts (61±7 y, pAF duration: 19±11 m), PVI and LA ablation were performed until AF termination. 40-sec ECG time series devoid of QRST were recorded at baseline (BL), after PVI (end_PVI) and at the end of LA ablation (end_ABL). APD and AOI were estimated on leads V1 and V6b (placed on the pts back). Results: pAF was terminated within the LA in 68% (23/34 LT - left terminated) of the pts, while 32% (11/34 NLT - not left terminated) did not. The figure shows that: 1) LT pts displayed higher AOI values at BL indicative of greater atrial ECG organization that increased significantly (p<0.05 for V1 and V6b) during LA ablation as opposed to NLT pts, and 2) NLT pts displayed higher APD values at BL indicative of greater atrial ECG disorganization that decreased during LA ablation, but did not reach LT pts values. Conclusion: Estimation of the level of organization of atrial ECG based on adaptive harmonic schemes appears as promising tools for the measure of pAF complexity and prediction of procedural outcome.