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
- electrical measurements (typically anywhere from 9 to over 200),
- 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
- 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.