Noninvasive Study of Ventricular Preexcitation Using Multichannel Magnetocardiography


  • 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, 8, 00168 Rome, Italy. Fax: +39-6-3051343; e-mail:


FENICI, R., et al.: Noninvasive Study of Ventricular Preexcitation Using Multichannel Magnetocardiography.In clinical practice, noninvasive classification of ventricular preexcitation (VPX) is usually done with ECG algorithms, which provide only a qualitative localization of accessory pathways. Since 1984, single or multichannel magnetocardiograpy (MMCG) has been used for three-dimensional localization of VPX sites, but a systematic study comparing the results of ECG and MMCG methods was lacking. This study evaluated the reliability of MMCG in an unshielded electrophysiological catheterization laboratory, and compared VPX classification as achieved with the five most recent ECG algorithms with that obtained by MMCG mapping and imaging techniques. A nine-channel direct current superconducting quantum interference device (DC-SQUID) MMCG system (sensitivity is 20 fT/Hz0.5) was used for sequential MMCG from 36 points on the anterior chest wall, within an area20 × 20 cm. Twenty-eight patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome were examined at least twice, on the same day or after several months to test the reproducibility of the measurements. In eight patients, the reproducibility of MMCG was also evaluated using different MCG instrumentation during maximal VPX and/or atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia induced by transesophageal atrial pacing via a nonmagnetic catheter. The results of VPX localization with ECG algorithms and MMCG were compared. Equivalent current dipole, effective magnetic dipole, and distributed currents imaging models were used for the inverse solution. MMCG classification of VPX was found to be more accurate than ECG methods, and also provided additional information for the identification of paraseptal pathways. Furthermore, in patients with complex activation patterns during the delta wave, distributed currents imaging revealed two different activation patterns, suggesting the existence of multiple accessory pathways. (PACE 2003; 26[Pt. II]:431–435)