What is ECGI?


ElectroCardioGraphic Imaging (ECGI), also known in various formulations as cardiac electrical imaging, inverse electrocardiography, cardiac isochrone positioning system (CIPS), non-invasive imaging of cardiac electrophysiology (NICE), and a number of other names, is a technology whose overall goal is to characterize the electrical (and sometimes mechanical) activity of the heart from electrical measurements on the body surface (or on a probe in a cardiac chamber).

In general solution methods for this problem combine three types of information

  1. electrical measurements (typically anywhere from 9 to over 200),
  2. a model of the electrical properties of the volume conductor between heart and measurements (usually obtained based on anatomical imaging such as CT or MRI and assumptions about electrical conductivity), and
  3. a mathematical characterization of the electrical sources (as transmembrane or surface potential distributions on a surface surrounding the myocardium or distributed throughout the myocardial wall), current dipoles (again on a surface or in the volume), known waveforms with unknown timing (eg activation or recovery time), or simplified models such as rotating dipoles.

Researchers have been working on this problem for a very long time, and many computational solution methods have been published over the last 40 years or so. Recently there has been a strong upsurge in both academic and commercial interest in solutions to this problem: the CEI and this website are one of the results of that upsurge.