Vectorcardiogram synthesized from the 12-lead electrocardiogram to image ischemia

David G. Strauss, Charles W. Olson, Katherine C. Wu, Einar Heiberg, Eva Persson, Ronald H. Selvester, Olle Pahlm, Håkan Arheden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background: Knowledge of the location and size of ischemic myocardium at risk for infarction could impact prehospital patient triage and reperfusion therapy. The 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) can roughly estimate ischemia size; however, individual precordial ECG leads are at different distances from the left ventricle (LV) and certain LV walls have greater effects on the ECG. Vectorcardiographic corrected orthogonal lead systems can display the magnitude and direction of the ST-segment "injury current" vector in 3-dimensional space. We assessed whether the vectorcardiographic ST-vector direction and magnitude derived from the ECG by the inverse-Dower method can estimate the location and size of ischemia. Methods and Results: Thirty-two patients underwent elective coronary angioplasty with control and 5-minute balloon-occlusion ECG and sestamibi injection followed by single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). The ST-vector direction derived from the inverse-Dower method was projected to an LV model with normal coronary artery anatomy. The graphical display of ST-vector location could discriminate among occlusions of the different coronaries. The ST-vector located ischemia within the SPECT defect in 75% (24/32) of all patients and 96% (24/25) of patients with ischemia in more than 12% of the LV. ST-vector magnitude had a Spearman correlation of r = 0.68 (P < .0001) with SPECT ischemia size. Conclusions: The 3-dimensional ST vector derived from the ECG can be graphically projected onto an LV model to localize ischemia, and ST-vector magnitude correlates with ischemia size. Further study is warranted to assess the ability of vectorcardiographic imaging to risk-stratify and provide decision-support for patients with acute myocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-197
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Electrocardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Electrocardiography
  • Imaging
  • Ischemia
  • Scintigraphy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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