A Sparsely Distributed Intra-cardial Ultrasonic Array for Real-Time Endocardial Mapping

  • Alon BaramEmail author
  • Hayit Greenspan
  • Zvi Freidman
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11768)


Cardiac arrhythmia is the clinical term for the family of diseases wherein the heart beats irregularly. Of these conditions, atrial fibrillation (AF) is one of the most prevalent and afflicts about 25% of the population of European descent over the age of 40. This condition leads to congestive heart failure, increases the risk of stroke five fold, impairs quality of life, causes hundreds of thousands hospitalizations in the US alone and is linked with increased mortality. Electrical pulmonary vein isolation (PVI) from the left atrial (LA) body is performed using ablation for treating AF. This and many other minimally invasive catheterizations, require real-time visualization and tracking of the LA endocardial surface. We propose a novel catheter based system incorporating ultrasound transducers mounted on a set of splines, and an algorithm capable of real time reconstruction of the chamber endocardial boundary, with almost no need for catheter movement or rotation. Unlike traditional ultrasound arrays, this catheter employs a small number of sparsely scattered transducer elements, far less than required by the Nyquist criterion, and a spherical field of view. Our concept had very little theoretical and practical known guarantees. We have developed novel methods to extract the blood pool location in space and validated them against reflecting tissue producing high contrast images of the boundary. We further validated our methods by extensive in-silico simulation studies and hardware phantom experiments. A prototype system is currently being built, following initial animal experimentation that further support the feasibility of this system in-vivo.


  1. 1.
    Calkins, H., et al.: 2017 HRS/EHRA/ECAS/APHRS/SOLAECE expert consensus statement on catheter and surgical ablation of atrial fibrillation. Europace 20(1), e1–e160 (2018). 29016840[pmid]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gozalez, R.C., Woods, R.E.: Digital image processing, 3rd edn. IEEE Trans. Biomed. Eng. (2013). Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kliger, C., Cruz-Gonzalez, I., Ruiz, C.E.: The present and future of intracardiac echocardiography for guiding structural heart disease interventions. Revista Española de Cardiología (English Edition) 65(09), 791–794 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Knackstedt, C., Schauerte, P., Kirchhof, P.: Electro-anatomic mapping systems in arrhythmias. EP Europace 10(suppl–3), iii28–iii34 (2008)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Liao, H., Tang, Y., Funka-Lea, G., Luo, J., Zhou, S.K.: More knowledge is better: cross-modality volume completion and 3D+2D segmentation for intracardiac echocardiography contouring. In: Frangi, A.F., Schnabel, J.A., Davatzikos, C., Alberola-López, C., Fichtinger, G. (eds.) MICCAI 2018. LNCS, vol. 11071, pp. 535–543. Springer, Cham (2018). Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nazarian, S., et al.: Direct visualization of coronary sinus ostium and branches with a flexible steerable fiberoptic infrared endoscope. Heart Rhythm 2(8), 844–848 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Pellman, J., Sheikh, F.: Atrial fibrillation: mechanisms, therapeutics, and future directions. Compr. Physiol. 5(2), 649–665 (2015). 25880508[pmid]CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Safran, M., Bar-tal, M.: Model based reconstruction of the heart from sparse samples, 21 February 2017. US Patent 9,576,107Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Medical Image Processing LaboratoryTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  2. 2.Biosense Webster (Israel) Ltd.YokneamIsrael

Personalised recommendations