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Comput Biomed Res. 1989 Dec;22(6):532-45.

Three-dimensional computer model of the heart: fibrillation induced by extrastimulation.

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Biomedical Engineering Department, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.


We present a three-dimensional (3D) computer model that simulates electrical activity in the heart during fibrillation. A real dog heart is discretized to form 1473 interconnected cubic elements. The model exhibits normal activation and recovery from pacing. Five or more extrastimuli induce a self-sustaining tachyarrhythmia that soon degenerates into a fibrillatory rhythm. The extrastimuli increase the excitability of the myocardial cell population. The result is a rapid re-excitation of cells that allows for only a partial recovery of cell action potential. This suggests that a dispersion of refractory states of the cell population is the cause of fibrillation in this computer model.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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