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IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 1999 Feb;46(2):138-47.

Influence of electrical coupling on early afterdepolarizations in ventricular myocytes.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Computer modeling is used to study the effect of electrical coupling between a myocardial zone where early afterdepolarizations (EAD's) can develop and the normal neighboring tissue. The effects of such coupling on EAD development and on the likelihood of EAD propagation as an ectopic beat are studied. The influence on EAD formation is investigated by approximating two partially coupled myocardial zones modeled as two active elements coupled by a junctional resistance R. For R values lower than 800 omega cm2, the action potentials are transmitted to the coupled element, and for R values higher than 850 omega cm2 they are blocked. In both ranges of R, when the electrical coupling increases, the EAD's appear at more negative takeoff potentials with higher amplitudes and upstrokes. The EAD's are not elicited if the electrical coupling is too high. In a separate model of two one-dimensional cardiac fiber segments partially coupled by a resistance R, critical R values exist, between 42 and 54 omega cm2, that facilitate EAD propagation. These results demonstrate that in myocardial zones favorable to the formation of EAD, the electrical coupling dramatically affects initiation of EAD and its spread to the neighboring tissue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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