Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia in United States. The most popular treatment for AF is a percutaneous procedure called catheter ablation. Current AF ablation procedures unfortunately have a poor success rate, primarily because the mechanisms involved in AF are incompletely understood even today. Intra-atrial electrograms have previously been shown to provide information on the mechanisms of AF. This thesis focuses on two such mechanisms – AF-sustaining sites known as sustained rotational activities (RotAs), and atrial tissue with unique electrical properties known as myocardial scars. Catheter ablation procedures today construct the 3D electroanatomic map of the left atrium (LA) by maneuvering a conventional Multipolar Diagnostic Catheter (MPDC) along the LA endocardial surface. These procedures are limited to pulmonary vein isolation and other linear ablation performed on various regions of the left atrium (such as roof and mitral isthmus) where the regions are decided based on the atrial anatomy. However, it remains unclear how to utilize the information provided by the MPDC to analyze and characterize the RotAs and scars. Previous electrogram characterization studies mainly use a single bipole rather than MPDCs to characterize the electrograms based on features such as cycle length or dominant frequency from the time or frequency domain. In this thesis we developed novel techniques for investigating the above mentioned mechanisms using signal analysis, mathematical modeling, numerical simulation and clinical experiments, all utilizing MPDC recordings. First, the variations in the total conduction delay (TCD) from

MPDC electrograms as the MPDC moves towards a RotA source was investigated. Second, the maximum peak-to-peak amplitudes of MPDC electrograms recorded during AF and NSR were analyzed. This thesis provides insights into methods of characterization of cardiac electrograms and the findings of this thesis could address the current challenges in AF ablation.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Atrial fibrillation; Electrocardiography--Data processing

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Electrical Engineering (MS)


Behnaz Ghoraani

Advisor/Committee Member

Daniel Phillips

Advisor/Committee Member

Sohail Dianat


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at RC685.A72 G36 2015


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes