Noninvasive, direct visualization of macro-reentrant circuits by using magnetocardiograms: Initiation and persistence of atrial flutter

Satsuki Yamada, K. Tsukada, T. Miyashita, K. Kuga, I. Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations


Aims. We analysed the cardiac magnetic fields on the body surface to visualize electrical currents noninvasively during reentrant arrhythmias. Methods and results. Seven patients with counterclockwise atrial flutter (AFL) were studied during 17 episodes of AFL using 64-channel magnetocardiograms (MCGs) and electrophysiological study. Eight of the episodes were paroxysmal AFL, in which MCGs were recorded from the time of spontaneous onset to the time of termination. We constructed iso-magnetic field maps of the tangential components and produced MCG animations. With respect to AFL initiation, an atrial premature complex induced AFL. Prior to the initiation of AFL, atrial fibrillation (AF) transiently occurred. The cardiac magnetic fields revealed a single peak during sinus rhythm or with premature complexes but a disorganized pattern during AF. When AF transformed to AFL, the magnetic fields changed from a disorganized pattern to a single peak at first and then evolved to a circular pattern. During persistent AFL, the magnetic source moved in a counterclockwise circuit. Conclusion. MCG animation can be used to visualize the sequence in which a premature complex transforms sinus rhythm to AFL via AF. Our findings indicate that MCGs can be used to identify noninvasively the mechanisms responsible for atrial tachyarrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-350
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2003



  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Atrial flutter
  • Cardiac mapping
  • Magnetic source
  • Magnetocardiograms
  • Tangential components

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)

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