Impedance characterization for scar and fibrosis detection

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often abnormally fast heart rate. AF is the most common cardiac arrhythmia, affecting more than 6 millions of Europeans and its prevalence is expected to double during the next 4 decades. Additionally, it is a multifactorial and progressive cardiac disease, with different manifestations in each patient.

In recent years a large number of available treatment strategies have appeared and progress in research on AF mechanisms and substrate evaluation methods (evaluation of fibrosis by late-gadolinium magnetic resonance imaging –MRI- or determination of electrical remodeling by using high density intracavitary and body surface electroanatomic mapping). However, the introduction of new therapeutic options has not facilitated the individualization of therapies. 

Regions of scar and fibrotic tissue have been identified as a potential driving region of arrhythmic activity during AF. High density mapping in the Electrophysiology Lab (EP-Lab) can deliver important information about areas of low voltage and slow conduction, both characteristics of these driving areas. Impedance measurement can be practically implemented on intracavitary recordings and provide the information required to locate these regions, as changes in conductivity may indicate alterations in myocardium functionality.

A multi spectral impedance measurement system and catheter will be developed and used to study the relation between the different tissue mutation of the myocardium, especially scar and fibrotic, as means to better characterize the tissue.