Stability analysis of the inverse transmembrane potential problem in electrocardiography

Journal article

Publication Details

Author(s): Burger M, Mardal KA, Nielsen BF
Journal: Inverse Problems
Publication year: 2010
Volume: 26
Pages range: 105012
ISSN: 0266-5611


In this paper we study some mathematical properties of an inverse problem arising in connection with electrocardiograms (ECGs). More specifically, we analyze the possibility for recovering the transmembrane potential in the heart from ECG recordings, a challenge currently investigated by a growing number of groups. Our approach is based on the bidomain model for the electrical activity in the myocardium, and leads to a parameter identification problem for elliptic partial differential equations (PDEs). It turns out that this challenge can be split into two subproblems: (1) the task of recovering the potential at the heart surface from body surface recordings; (2) the problem of computing the transmembrane potential inside the heart from the potential determined at the heart surface. Problem (1), which can be formulated as the Cauchy problem for an elliptic PDE, has been extensively studied and is well known to be severely ill-posed. The main purpose of this paper is to prove that problem (2) is stable and well posed if a suitable prior is available. Moreover, our theoretical findings are illuminated by a series of numerical experiments. Finally, we discuss some aspects of uniqueness related to the anisotropy in the heart.

External institutions with authors

Simula Research Laboratory
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster

How to cite

Burger, M., Mardal, K.-A., & Nielsen, B.F. (2010). Stability analysis of the inverse transmembrane potential problem in electrocardiography. Inverse Problems, 26, 105012.

Burger, Martin, Kent-Andre Mardal, and Bjorn Fredrik Nielsen. "Stability analysis of the inverse transmembrane potential problem in electrocardiography." Inverse Problems 26 (2010): 105012.


Last updated on 2018-26-11 at 08:08