Software Open Access

Measurement of Global Electrical Heterogeneity

Muammar Kabir Erick Andres Perez Alday kazi haq Jonathan Waks Larisa Tereshchenko

Published: May 2, 2018. Version: 1.0.0

When using this resource, please cite the original publication:

Waks JW, Sitlani CM, Soliman EZ, Kabir M, Ghafoori E, Biggs ML, Henrikson CA, Sotoodehnia N, Biering-Sorensen T, Agarwal SK, Siscovick DS, Post WS, Solomon SD, Buxton AE, Josephson ME and Tereshchenko LG. Global Electric Heterogeneity Risk Score for Prediction of Sudden Cardiac Death in the General Population: The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) and Cardiovascular Health (CHS) Studies. Circulation. 2016;133:2222-2234.

Please include the standard citation for PhysioNet: (show more options)
Goldberger, A., Amaral, L., Glass, L., Hausdorff, J., Ivanov, P. C., Mark, R., ... & Stanley, H. E. (2000). PhysioBank, PhysioToolkit, and PhysioNet: Components of a new research resource for complex physiologic signals. Circulation [Online]. 101 (23), pp. e215–e220.


The Global Electrical Heterogeneity (GEH) concept is based on the theory of Wilson’s electrical gradient vector, which characterizes the degree of heterogeneity of the total recovery time across the ventricles.

The larger the degree of heterogeneity of total recovery time across the ventricles, the larger the spatial ventricular gradient (SVG) magnitude. The SVG vector points towards the area where the total recovery time is shortest. SVG vector points the direction along which non-uniformities in excitation and repolarization are the greatest (i.e., it is perpendicular to the line of conduction block). Experimental and theoretical investigations demonstrated that the SVG is related to global heterogeneity of both action potential duration and morphology.

The concept underlying the SVG was extended to the spatial QRS-T angle, the three-dimensional angle between the QRS- and T-vectors and the sum absolute QRST integral (SAI QRST), a scalar analog of the SVG calculated as the absolute value of the area under the QRS complex and T-wave on the X, Y, and Z leads. The scalar value of SVG can also be calculated as a QT integral on Vector Magnitude signal (iVMQT), as an area under the Vector Magnitude signal curve from the QRS-onset to T-offset. Five GEH metrics (SVG magnitude, elevation, and azimuth, spatial QRS-T angle, and SAI QRST (or QT integral on Vector Magnitude signal, iVMQT) are complementary to each other; all together they characterize global electrophysiological properties of the heart. GEH is independently associated with sudden cardiac death. GEH can be measured on routinely used clinical 12-lead ECG, after its transformation into orthogonal (Frank) XYZ ECG. We recommend using Kors transformation.

Software Description and Usage

This page contains V.1 of the software. The working repository for this is hosted in the following github page:

One test file 90757.mat is provided for GEH calculation testing, with a sampling rate 500 Hz and amplitude resolution 1 µV. A raw 12-lead ECG file 12LECG.mat is provided to illustrate the Kors transformation from 12-lead to XYZ (Frank) ECG.

For a demonstration, load 12LECG.mat and run Kors_git.m, then load 90757.mat and run GEH_analysis_git.m


Access Policy:
Anyone can access the files, as long as they conform to the terms of the specified license.

License (for files):
Open Data Commons Attribution License v1.0

Corresponding Author
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12LECG.mat (download) 109.2 KB 2019-04-12
90757.mat (download) 12.4 KB 2019-04-12
GEH calculation.pdf (download) 266.7 KB 2019-04-12
GEH_analysis_git.m (download) 22.6 KB 2019-04-12
Kors_git.m (download) 2.3 KB 2019-04-12
LICENSE (download) 1.0 KB 2019-04-12 (download) 1.5 KB 2019-04-12