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Phantom Validation of Multichannel Magnetocardiography Source Localization


  • Supported in part by grants # 9906571299_001 and 2001064829_001 provided by the Italian Ministry for University and Research (MIUR).

Address for reprints: Riccardo R. Fenici, M.D., Clinical Physiology—Biomagnetism Center, Catholic University of Rome, Largo A. Gemelli, 800168 Rome, Italy. Fax: +39-6-3051343; e-mail:


FENICI, R., et al.: Phantom Validation of Multichannel Magnetocardiography Source Localization.Multichannel magnetocardiography (MMCG) is used clinically for noninvasive localization of the site of origin of cardiac arrhythmias. However, its accuracy in unshielded environments is still unknown. The aim of this study was to test the accuracy of three-dimensional localization of intracardiac sources by means of MMCG in an unshielded catheterization laboratory using a saline-filled phantom, together with a nonmagnetic catheter designed for multiple monophasic action potential recordings in a clinical setting. A nine-channel direct current superconducting quantum interference device (DC-SQUID) system (sensitivity fT/Hz0.5) was used for MMCG from 36 points in a measuring area of 20 × 20 cm. The artificial sources to be localized were dipoles embedded in the distal end of the catheter, placed 12 cm below the sensor's plane. Equivalent current dipoles, effective magnetic dipoles, and distributed currents models were used for the inverse solution. The localization error was estimated as the three-dimensional difference between the physical position of the tip of the catheter and the three-dimensional localization of the dipoles derived by means of the inverse solution calculated from MMCG data. The reproducibility was tested by repeating the MMCG after repositioning the phantom and the measurement system. The average location error of the catheter dipole was9 ± 4 mmand was due primarily to imprecise depth estimation. Localization was reproducible within 0.73 mm. The distributed currents model provided an accurate image of current distribution centered over the catheter tip. The authors conclude that MMCG estimation is accurate enough to guarantee proper localization of cardiac dipolar sources even in an unshielded clinical electrophysiological laboratory. (PACE 2003; 26[Pt. II]:426–430)