Magnetocardiograms in clinical medicine: Unique information on cardiac ischemia, arrhythmias, and fetal diagnosis

Satsuki Yamada, Iwao Yamaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Cardiac diseases are the leading cause of death in population. Diagnostic tests to detect cardiac dysfunction at an early stage of the disease are desirable. The major focus has been centered on tests evaluating the perfusion of the heart with imaging techniques or detecting alterations in electrical or mechanical function of the heart. The heart generates magnetic fields that can be detected by body surface mapping utilizing super conducting quantum interference device sensors giving magnetocardiograms (MCGs). The advantages of MCG over traditional electrocardiograms (ECGs) are increased sensitivity to small signals and lack of conductivity in body tissues, presentation of direct component signals and primary currents. This review will highlight the basic principles and recent advantages of MCGs, and the application of MCG in clinical diagnosis, especially in cases whose ECGs are non-diagnostic or not specific, such as detecting baseline shift in ischemic heart disease, noninvasive His potential recording, detection of arrhythmic mechanism defining reentrant circuits vs non reentrant mechanism, diagnosis of fetal arrhythmias and prolongation of QT interval. Areas of future basic and clinical research are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalInternal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Cardiac magnetic fields
  • Cardiac mapping
  • Electrical currents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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