Background: Rotors are postulated to maintain cardiac fibrillation. Despite the importance of bipolar electrograms in clinical electrophysiology, few data exist on the properties of bipolar electrograms at rotor sites. The pivot of a spiral wave is characterized by relative uncertainty of wavefront propagation direction compared to the periphery. The bipolar electrograms used in electrophysiology recording encode information on both direction and timing of approaching wavefronts.
Objective: To test the hypothesis that bipolar electrograms from the pivot of rotors have higher Shannon entropy (ShEn) than electrograms recorded at the periphery due to the spatial dynamics of spiral waves.
Methods and Results: We studied spiral wave propagation in 2-dimensional sheets constructed using a simple cell automaton (FitzHugh-Nagumo), atrial (Courtemanche-Ramirez-Nattel) and ventricular (Luo-Rudy) myocyte cell models and in a geometric model spiral wave. In each system, bipolar electrogram recordings were simulated, and Shannon entropy maps constructed as a measure of electrogram information content. ShEn was consistently highest in the pivoting region associated with the phase singularity of the spiral wave. This property was consistently preserved across; (i) variation of model system (ii) alterations in bipolar electrode spacing, (iii) alternative bipolar electrode orientation (iv) bipolar electrogram filtering and (v) in the presence of rotor meander. Directional activation plots demonstrated that the origin of high ShEn at the pivot was the directional diversity of wavefront propagation observed in this location.
Conclusions: The pivot of the rotor is consistently associated with high Shannon entropy of bipolar electrograms despite differences in action potential model, bipolar electrode spacing, signal filtering and rotor meander. Maximum ShEn is colocated with the pivot for rotors observed in the bipolar electrogram recording mode, and may be an intrinsic property of spiral wave dynamic behaviour.