22 Feb

PhD Defence Job Stoks

Supervisors: Prof .dr. P.G.A. Volders, Prof. dr.ir. R.L.M. Peeters, Prof. dr. P. Dendale

Co-supervisor: Dr. M.J.M. Cluitmans

Keywords: Cardiac arrhythmia, Medical imaging, Mechanism, Electrocardiography

"Multimodal Image Integration to Better Explain Human Ventricular Tachyarrhythmias"

Fast disruptions of the normal heart rhythm in the main chambers of the heart (so-called ventricular tachyarrhythmias) are responsible for one out of five deaths worldwide. To better diagnose and treat these life-threatening heart-rhythm disorders, it is crucial to have an optimal understanding of the electrical characteristics of the heart, both in health and disease.

In this doctorate thesis, advanced electrical and structural imaging techniques are combined to better explain normal rhythms and tachyarrhythmias of the human heart. As a main finding, the integration of combined imaging yields a more in-depth understanding than the sum of separate elements. Furthermore, the use and standardization of a new technique called “ECG-imaging” proves very valuable in explaining the electrical origins of arrhythmias. It reveals that under normal conditions, the heart’s electrical characteristics are highly personal: each heart has its own electrical “fingerprint”. This emphasizes the need for personalized approaches in the management of arrhythmias.

The collective results described in this thesis improve our understanding of life-threatening arrhythmias, offer promising directions for diagnostics and treatment, and underscore the importance of a personalized approach.

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