A novel ultrasound technique to estimate right ventricular geometry during fibrillation

James Eason, Naomi M. Gades, Robert A. Malkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Finite element modelling of the heart for the purpose of studying the electric fields of defibrillation shocks requires knowledge of the geometry of the heart during fibrillation. However, the standard method of measuring this geometry, MRI, cannot be used during fibrillation because the heart geometry changes rapidly and perhaps unpredictably. We present a new ultrasound approach to measuring the right ventricular geometry during fibrillation and preliminary data using this technique. In six anaesthetized pigs, we find that a short axis cross-sectional area of the right ventricle increases by 38% during a 30 s episode of ventricular fibrillation. A long axis cross-sectional area increases by 19% during this same time. By fitting parameters of a simple geometric model to the experimental data, we estimate that the volume of blood in the right ventricular cavity increases by approximately 30% during the episode of ventricular fibrillation. We present the first study of the RV area during fibrillation with the estimated volume. Our data suggest changes in defibrillation threshold may be linked to current shunting through the increased blood volume.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-278
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiological Measurement
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002


  • Defibrillation
  • Echocardiography
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Ventricular volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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