Initiation of atrial fibrillation by interaction of pacemakers with geometrical constraints

Claudia Lenk, Frank M. Weber, Martin Bauer, Mario Einax, Philipp Maass, Gunnar Seeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia of the heart in industrialized countries. Its generation and the transitory behavior of paroxysmal AF are still not well understood. In this work we examine the interaction of two activation sources via an isthmus as possible cause for the initiation of fibrillation episodes. For this study, the electrophysiological model of Bueno-Orovio, Cherry and Fenton is adapted to atrial electrophysiology, both for physiological and electrophysiologically remodeled conditions due to AF. We show that the interaction of the pacemakers, combined with the geometrical constraints of the isthmus, can produce fibrillatory-type irregularities, which we quantify by the loss of spatial phase coherence in the transmembrane voltage. Transitions to irregular behavior occur when the frequencies of the pacemakers exceed certain thresholds, suggesting that AF episodes are initiated by frequency changes of the activating sources (sinus node, ectopic focus).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-23
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume366
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Fingerprint

Atrial Fibrillation
Pacemakers
Electrophysiology
Interaction
Chemical activation
electrophysiology
Sinoatrial Node
Arrhythmia
arrhythmia
Electric potential
Irregularity
sinuses
Developed Countries
developed countries
Cardiac Arrhythmias
Irregular
Activation
Exceed
Quantify
Voltage

Cite this

Lenk, Claudia ; Weber, Frank M. ; Bauer, Martin ; Einax, Mario ; Maass, Philipp ; Seeman, Gunnar. / Initiation of atrial fibrillation by interaction of pacemakers with geometrical constraints. In: Journal of Theoretical Biology. 2015 ; Vol. 366. pp. 13-23.
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Initiation of atrial fibrillation by interaction of pacemakers with geometrical constraints. / Lenk, Claudia; Weber, Frank M.; Bauer, Martin; Einax, Mario; Maass, Philipp; Seeman, Gunnar.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 366, 2015, p. 13-23.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Weber, Frank M.

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AU - Seeman, Gunnar

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AB - Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia of the heart in industrialized countries. Its generation and the transitory behavior of paroxysmal AF are still not well understood. In this work we examine the interaction of two activation sources via an isthmus as possible cause for the initiation of fibrillation episodes. For this study, the electrophysiological model of Bueno-Orovio, Cherry and Fenton is adapted to atrial electrophysiology, both for physiological and electrophysiologically remodeled conditions due to AF. We show that the interaction of the pacemakers, combined with the geometrical constraints of the isthmus, can produce fibrillatory-type irregularities, which we quantify by the loss of spatial phase coherence in the transmembrane voltage. Transitions to irregular behavior occur when the frequencies of the pacemakers exceed certain thresholds, suggesting that AF episodes are initiated by frequency changes of the activating sources (sinus node, ectopic focus).

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