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Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2004 Oct;287(4):H1570-81.

Dynamics of virtual electrode-induced scroll-wave reentry in a 3D bidomain model.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106-7207, USA.


Functional reentry in the heart can be caused by a wave front of excitation rotating around its edge. Previous simulations on the basis of monodomain cable equations predicted the existence of self-sustained, vortex-like wave fronts (scroll waves) rotating around a filament in three dimensions. In our simulations, we used the more accurate bidomain model with modified Beeler-Reuter ionic kinetics to study the dynamics of scroll-wave filaments in a 16 x 8 x 1.5-mm slab of ventricular tissue with straight fibers. Wave fronts were identified as the areas with inward current. Their edges represented the filaments. Both transmural and intramural reentries with I- and U-shaped filaments, respectively, were obtained by the S1-S2 point stimulation protocol through the virtual electrode-induced phase singularity mechanism. The filaments meandered along elongated trajectories and tended to attach to the tissue boundaries exposed to air (no current flow) rather than to the bath (zero extracellular potential). They completely detached from electroporated (zero transmembrane potential) boundaries. In our simulations, the presence of the bath led to generation of only U-shaped filaments, which survived for the 1.5-mm-thick slab but not for the slabs of 0.5- or 3-mm thicknesses. Thus boundary conditions may be another determinant of the type and dynamics of reentry.

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