New body surface isopotential map evaluation method to detect minor potential losses in non-Q-wave myocardial infarction

Mihály Medvegy, István Préda, Pierre Savard, Arnold Pintér, Gaétan Tremblay, James B. Nasmith, Donald Palisaitis, Réginald A. Nadeau

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Background - Potential losses caused by stable non-Q-wave myocardial infarction (MI) are too small to diagnose with the use of standard ECG. The aim of the present study was to obtain accurate diagnostic criteria for this prognostically important disease with the help of body surface mapping. Methods and Results - Body surface potentials were recorded with the use of 63 unipolar leads in 45 patients with a non-Q-wave MI (41 to 75 years old); 24 healthy adults, 42 patients with unstable angina, and 70 patients with Q- wave MI served as reference groups. Qualitative pathological features of the isopotential maps, such as onset time and site and magnitude of the first right-anterior/anterior minimum, as well as pathological negativities at that time, were defined in non-Q-wave MI cases. These features, which account for the activation sequence and the body surface projections of specific cardiac regions (Selvester classification), showed a 91% sensitivity and an 88% specificity for the detection of non-Q-wave MI. In comparison, the different departure maps (first third QRS, QRS, and QRST isoarea) resulted in less favorable specificities (50% to 58%). Concordance between the isopotential maps and the acute-phase ECG (90%), hypokinesis (64%), fixed perfusion defects (59%), and significant stenosis of the infarct-related coronary artery (87%) supported the concept that these isopotential map changes correspond to the supposed sites of MI. There were pathological features in 69% of patients with unstable angina, with similar concordances as in non-Q- wave MI. Conclusions - Isopotential maps revealed characteristic features that were suitable for the detection and localization of non-Q-wave MI in the clinical setting of unstable coronary artery disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1115-1121
Number of pages7
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Mar 14 2000



  • Angina
  • Mapping
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Potentials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

Cite this

Medvegy, M., Préda, I., Savard, P., Pintér, A., Tremblay, G., Nasmith, J. B., Palisaitis, D., & Nadeau, R. A. (2000). New body surface isopotential map evaluation method to detect minor potential losses in non-Q-wave myocardial infarction. Circulation, 101(10), 1115-1121.