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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.26 SNIP: 0.375 CiteScore™: 1.4

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.v23.i5-6.30
pages 475-510

Body Surface Laplacian Electrocardiographic Mapping−A Review

Bin He
Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, MC-063, SEO 218, 851 S. Morgan Street, Chicago, IL 60607
Richard J. Cohen
Harvard University − Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Division of Health Sciences and Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139


It is of great importance and significance to be able to noninvasively map spatially distributed cardiac electrical activity from body surface electrical recordings. The standard electrocardiographic monitoring techniques provide little spatial information regarding cardiac electrical activity. Recently, a new approach−body surface Laplacian electrocardiographic mapping−has been aggressively pursued to provide high-resolution spatial mapping of cardiac electrical activity. The fundamental innovation is the measurement of the Laplacian electrocardiogram distribution over the body surface. The body surface Laplacian electrocardiographic maps have been shown to provide enhanced ability to map multiple spatially separate cardiac bioelectric sources.
This article reviews the theoretical and experimental aspects of this emerging mapping technique. First of all, the paper briefly reviews the historical development of body surface mapping and inverse solutions for mapping the distributed cardiac electrical activity. Then the paper reviews the theoretical basis of body surface Laplacian mapping and the biophysical interpretation of body surface Laplacian signals, as well as technical consideration of the Laplacian recording and instrumentation. Investigations of body surface Laplacian maps in computer models and a physical tank model, as well as physiological studies are also reviewed.

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