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01 July 1996

Spiral waves in a 2-D model of fibrillating heart and a new way to break them

Paweł Strumiłło, Thomas S. Durrani

Med Sci Monit 1996; 2(4): MT495-504 :: ID: 500002

Abstract

Spatio-temporal patterns generated in a bi-layered two dimensional array of interconnected nonlinear elements are studied in relation with modelling of the heart ventricular electrodynamic instability. The rectangular lattice of nonlinear elements is mapped onto cylindrical surface to approximate the geometry of the heart ventricles. A novel explanation for the mechanism of heart fibrillation (attributed to multiple spiral waves [1,2]) is proposed based on the concept that depolarised and refractory cells of the heart tissue act as two spatially distributed competing populations (analogous to the predator-prey situation in the dynamic models of interacting species). This novel interpretation of the fibrillation dynamics provides a direct relationship between the complex, spatio-temporal spiral patterns of tissue activation and the periodic body surface electrocardiographic signal recorded during this heart arrhythmic condition. These findings lead to the proposal for a new, low energy, multi-pulse stimulation technique for termination of the deadly spiral "autowave attractor".

Keywords: Heart, Ventricular Fibrillation, Computer Simulation

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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research eISSN: 2325-4416
Medical Science Monitor Basic Research eISSN: 2325-4416