Effect of myocardial infarction and ischemia on induction of cardiac reentries and ventricular fibrillation

Acta Biotheoretica 43 (4) (1995)
The present work is aimed at investigating the effects of myocardial infarction and ischemia on induction of ventricular fibrillation. Electrophysiologic effects of global and local ischemia (variation of the dispersion of refractory periods as well as conduction velocity) on initiation of reentry mechanisms was studied by means of computer simulations based on a cellular automata model of propagation of activation wave through a ventricular surface element. A local area of ischemia where effects of the dispersion of refractory periods are investigated is then simulated. This is made using a Gaussian distribution characterized by its mean and standard deviation. These simulations show that ischemia is capable of initiating reentry phenomena which propagate through the whole ventricle; they are responsible for ventricular fibrillation which causes sudden cardiac death, even when ischemia only involves limited parts of the myocardium. Statistical study of the probability of reentries as a function of both of the size of ischemic zones and the rate of dispersion of refractory periods shows that the latter parameter is of primary importance in triggering cardiac reentries
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