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J Clin Invest. 1997 Nov 15;100(10):2486-500.

Spatiotemporal complexity of ventricular fibrillation revealed by tissue mass reduction in isolated swine right ventricle. Further evidence for the quasiperiodic route to chaos hypothesis.

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Department of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, USA.


We have presented evidence that ventricular fibrillation is deterministic chaos arising from quasiperiodicity. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the transition from chaos (ventricular fibrillation, VF) to periodicity (ventricular tachycardia) through quasiperiodicity could be produced by the progressive reduction of tissue mass. In isolated and perfused swine right ventricular free wall, recording of single cell transmembrane potentials and simultaneous mapping (477 bipolar electrodes, 1.6 mm resolution) were performed. The tissue mass was then progressively reduced by sequential cutting. All isolated tissues fibrillated spontaneously. The critical mass to sustain VF was 19.9 +/- 4.2 g. As tissue mass was decreased, the number of wave fronts decreased, the life-span of reentrant wave fronts increased, and the cycle length, the diastolic interval, and the duration of action potential lengthened. There was a parallel decrease in the dynamical complexity of VF as measured by Kolmogorov entropy and Poincaré plots. A period of quasiperiodicity became more evident before the conversion from VF (chaos) to a more regular arrhythmia (periodicity). In conclusion, a decrease in the number of wave fronts in ventricular fibrillation by tissue mass reduction causes a transition from chaotic to periodic dynamics via the quasiperiodic route.

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