A 2D-computer model of atrial tissue based on histographs describes the electro-anatomical impact of microstructure on endocardiac potentials and electric near-fields

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2010;2010:2541-4. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2010.5626870.


In experiments with cardiac tissue, local conduction is described by waveform analysis of the derivative of the extracellular potential Φ(e) and by the loop morphology of the near-field strength E (the components of the electric field parallel and very close to the tissue surface). The question arises whether the features of these signals can be used to quantify the degree of fibrosis in the heart. A computer model allows us to study the behavior of electric signals at the endocardium with respect to known configurations of microstructure which can not be detected during the electrophysiological experiments. This work presents a 2D-computer model with sub-cellular resolution of atrial micro-conduction in the rabbit heart. It is based on the monodomain equations and digitized histographs from tissue slices obtained post-experimentum. It could be shown that excitation spread in densely coupled regions produces uniform and anisotropic conduction. In contrast, zones with parallel fibers separated by uncoupling interstitial space or connective tissue may show uniform or complex signals depending on pacing site. These results suggest that the analysis of Φ(e) and E combined with multi-site pacing could be used to characterize the type and the size of fibrosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computer Simulation
  • Computers
  • Electrophysiology / methods
  • Endocardium / pathology
  • Endocardium / physiopathology
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Heart / physiology
  • Heart / physiopathology*
  • Heart Atria / anatomy & histology
  • Heart Atria / pathology*
  • Heart Conduction System / anatomy & histology
  • Heart Conduction System / physiology
  • Models, Cardiovascular
  • Rabbits
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted