Mapping propagation of mechanical activation in the paced heart with MRI tagging

Bradley T. Wyman, William C. Hunter, Frits W. Prinzen, Elliot R. McVeigh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

256 Scopus citations


The temporal evolution of three-dimensional (3-D) strain maps derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tagging were used to noninvasively evaluate mechanical activation in the left ventricle (LV) while seven canine hearts were paced in situ from three different sites: the base of the LV free wall (LVb), the right ventricular apex (RVa), and the right atrium (RA). Strain maps plotted against time showed the evolution of shortening over the entire LV midwall and were used to generate mechanical activation maps showing the onset of circumferential shortening. RA pacing showed rapid synchronous shortening; LVb pacing showed a wave front of mechanical activation propagating slowly and steadily from the pacing site, whereas RVa pacing showed regions of rapid and slower propagation. The mechanical (M) activation times correlated linearly with the electrical (E) activation (M = 1.06E ± 8.4 ms, R = 0.95). The time for 90% activation of the LV was 63.1 ± 24.3 ms for RA pacing, 130.2 ± 9.8 ms for LVb pacing, and 121.3 ± 17.9 ms for RVa pacing. The velocity of mechanical activation was calculated for LVb and RVa pacing and was similar to values reported for electrical conduction in myocardium. The propagation of mechanical activation for RVa pacing showed regional variations, whereas LVb pacing did not.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)H881-H891
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number3 45-3
StatePublished - Mar 1999
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Conduction abnormalities
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Magnetic resonance tagging
  • Pacing


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