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Obstet Gynecol. 1997 Apr;89(4):604-8.

A computer model of uterine contractions based on action potential propagation and intercellular calcium waves.

Author information

  • Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To simulate a uterine contraction using a novel computer model for uterine communication and to validate the assumptions of the computer model by comparing the simulated contraction with a real uterine contraction.

METHODS:

The computer model assumed two known mechanisms of intercellular communication: action potential propagation and calcium wave propagation. Simulations were performed on a desktop computer using available programming language. Model validity was assessed by fitting the computer-simulated contraction to a real contraction and comparing the fit values with values measured independently.

RESULTS:

The simulated contraction demonstrated five characteristics that are also observed in human labor: 1) gradual onset, 2) a linear rising segment, 3) a plateau region, 4) a symmetrical fall, and 5) gradual offset. The fit values agreed well with values determined experimentally and supported the model.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results support the model, strongly suggesting that intercellular communication occurs throughout the uterus by action potentials and locally within the tissue by calcium waves.

PMID:
9083321
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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