Incidence of dispersion of refractoriness and cellular coupling resistance on cardiac reentries and ventricular fibrillation

Acta Biotheoretica 47 (3-4) (1999)
Abstract
We used computer simulations to study the possible role of the dispersion of cellular coupling, refractoriness or both, in the mechanisms underlying cardiac arrhythmias. Local ischemia was first assumed to induce cell to cell dispersion of the coupling resistance (Case 1), refractory period (Case 2), or both of them (Case 3). Our numerical experiments based on the van Capelle and Durrer model showed that vortices could not be induced by cell to cell variations. With cellular properties dispersed in a patchy way within the ischemic zone, a single activation wave could give rise to abnormal activities. This demonstrates the stability of the wave front under small inhomogeneities. Probabilities of reentry, estimated for the three cases cited above showed that a severe alteration of the coupling resistance may be an important factor in the genesis of reentry. Moreover, use of isochronal maps revealed that vortices were both stable and sustained with an alteration of the coupling alone or combined with a reduction of the action potential duration. Conversely, simulations with reduction of the refractoriness alone, inducing only transient patterns, could exhibit functionally determined reentries
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