BACKGROUND: There are no published data showing the three-dimensional sequence of repolarization and the associated potential fields in the ventricles. Knowledge of the sequence of repolarization has medical relevance because high spatial dispersion of recovery times and action potential durations favors cardiac arrhythmias. In this study we describe measured and simulated 3-D excitation and recovery sequences and activation-recovery intervals (ARIs) (measured) or action potential durations (APDs) (simulated) in the ventricular walls.METHODS: We recorded from 600 to 1400 unipolar electrograms from canine ventricular walls during atrial and ventricular pacing at 350-450 ms cycle length. Measured excitation and recovery times and ARIs were displayed as 2-D maps in transmural planes or 3-D maps in the volume explored, using specially developed software. Excitation and recovery sequences and APD distributions were also simulated in parallelepipedal slabs using anisotropic monodomain or bidomain models based on the Lou-Rudy version 1 model with homogeneous membrane properties.RESULTS: Simulations showed that in the presence of homogeneous membrane properties, the sequence of repolarization was similar but not identical to the excitation sequence. In a transmural plane perpendicular to epicardial fiber direction, both activation and recovery pathways starting from an epicardial pacing site returned toward the epicardium at a few cm distance from the pacing site. However, APDs were not constant, but had a dispersion of approximately 14 ms in the simulated domain. The maximum APD value was near the pacing site and two minima appeared along a line perpendicular to fiber directions, passing through the pacing site. Electrical measurements in dog ventricles showed that, for short cycle lengths, both excitation and recovery pathways, starting from an epicardial pacing site, returned toward the epicardium. For slower pacing rates, pathways of recovery departed from the pathway of excitation. Highest ARI values were observed near the pacing site in part of the experiments. In addition, maps of activation-recovery intervals showed mid-myocardial clusters with activation-recovery intervals that were slightly longer than ARIs closer to the epi- or endocardium, suggesting the presence of M cells in those areas. Transmural dispersion of measured ARIs was on the order of 20-25 ms. Potential distributions during recovery were less affected by myocardial anisotropy than were excitation potentials
E. Hughes, B. Taccardi, and F. B. Sachse. A heuristic streamline placement technique for visualization of electrical current flow. In J Flow Visualization and Image Processing, vol. 13(1) , pp. 53-66, 2006
Streamline techniques are frequently applied for scientific visualization of two- and three-dimensional electric fields. Streamline distributions are expected to reflect important features of the underlying fields such as the locations of sources and sinks as well as variations of the field density. Streamline techniques fulfilling these demands in arbitrary fields are currently not developed.In this work, we present a heuristic technique, which aims at creating a linear relationship between a streamline distribution and the density of an underlying electric current field. The technique is based on a sequential optimization algorithm for placement of seed points of streamlines. In each step, a set of random trial seed points is created. Each point of the trial set is temporarily added to the set of best seed points. Streamlines are generated from the enhanced set and the fit of their distribution and the field density is determined. The best point is selected and added to the set of best seed points. The iteration ends after generation of a pre-given number of best seed points. Several examples illustrate results of this technique applied to electric current fields of small complexity and in more extensive cardiothoracic electric fields. Additionally, we characterized, with statistical studies, the influence of parameters of the algorithm on the relationship between streamline distribution and field density.
Velocity of electrical conduction in cardiac tissue is a function of mechanical strain. Although strain-modulated velocity is a well established finding in experimental cardiology, its underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In this work, we summarized potential factors contributing to strain-velocity relationships and reviewed related experimental and computational studies. We presented results from our experimental studies on rabbit papillary muscle, which supported a biphasic relationship of strain and velocity under uni-axial straining conditions. In the low strain range, the strain-velocity relationship was positive. Conduction velocity peaked with 0.59 m/s at 100% strain corresponding to maximal force development. In the high strain range, the relationship was negative. Conduction was reversibly blocked at 118+/-1.8% strain. Reversible block occurred also in the presence of streptomycin. Furthermore, our studies revealed a moderate hysteresis of conduction velocity, which was reduced by streptomycin. We reconstructed several features of the strain-velocity relationship in a computational study with a myocyte strand. The modeling included strain-modulation of intracellular conductivity and stretch-activated cation non-selective ion channels. The computational study supported our hypotheses, that the positive strain-velocity relationship at low strain is caused by strain-modulation of intracellular conductivity and the negative relationship at high strain results from activity of stretch-activated channels. Conduction block was not reconstructed in our computational studies. We concluded this work by sketching a hypothesis for strain-modulation of conduction and conduction block in papillary muscle. We suggest that this hypothesis can also explain uni-axially measured strain-conduction velocity relationships in other types of cardiac tissue, but apparently necessitates adjustments to reconstruct pressure or volume related changes of velocity in atria and ventricles
T. G. McNary, K. Sohn, B. Taccardi, and F. B. Sachse. Mechano-Electrical feedback mechanisms in cardiac tissue: Experimental setup and preliminary measurement results. In Proc. 2nd Annual Mountain West Biomedical Engineering Conference, 2006
F. B. Sachse, G. Seemann, and B. Taccardi. Relationship of Strain and Conduction Velocity in Cardiac Muscle in the High Strain Range. In Biophys. J (Annual Meeting Abstracts), pp. 2644, 2006
F. B. Sachse, G. Seemann, and B. Taccardi. Insights into Electrophysiological Studies with Papillary Muscle by Computational Models. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 3504, pp. 216-225, 2005
F. B. Sachse, and B. Taccardi. Visualization of Electrical Current Flow with a New Streamline Technique: Application in Mono- and Bidomain Simulations of Cardiac Tissue. In Proc. IEEE EMBS, pp. 1846-1849, 2004