A Novel Method for Determining the Phase of T-Wave AlternansClinical Perspective
Diagnostic and Therapeutic Implications
Background—T-wave alternans (TWA) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death. However, to estimate and suppress TWA effectively, the phase of TWA must be accurately determined.
Methods and Results—We developed a method that computes the beat-by-beat integral of the T-wave morphology, over time points within the T-wave with positive alternans. Then, we estimated the signed derivative of the T-wave integral sequence, which allows the classification of each beat to a binary phase index. In animal studies, we found that this method was able to accurately identify the T-wave phase in artificially induced alternans (P<0.0001). The coherence of the phase increased consistently after acute ischemia induction in all body-surface and intracardiac leads (P<0.0001). Also, we developed a phase-resetting detection algorithm that enhances the diagnostic utility of TWA. We further established an algorithm that uses the phase of TWA to deliver appropriate polarity-pacing pulses (all interventions compared with baseline, P<0.0001 for alternans voltage; P<0.0001 for Kscore), to suppress TWA. Finally, we demonstrated that using the phase of TWA we can suppress spontaneous TWA during acute ischemia; 77.6% for alternans voltage (P<0.0001) and 92.5% for Kscore (P<0.0001).
Conclusions—We developed a method to quantify the temporal variability of the TWA phase. This method is expected to enhance the utility of TWA in predicting ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death and raises the possibility of using upstream therapies to abort a ventricular tachyarrhythmia before its onset.
- Received December 28, 2012.
- Accepted July 9, 2013.
- © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.