The development and clinical use of patient-specific models of the heart is now a feasible goal. Models have the potential to aid in diagnosis and support decision-making in clinical cardiology. Several groups are now working on developing multi-scale models of the heart for understanding therapeutic mechanisms and better predicting clinical outcomes of interventions such as cardiac resynchronization therapy. Here we describe the methodology for generating a patient-specific model of the failing heart with a myocardial infarct and left ventricular bundle branch block. We discuss some of the remaining challenges in developing reliable patient-specific models of cardiac electromechanical activity, and identify some of the main areas for focusing future research efforts. Key challenges include: efficiently generating accurate patient-specific geometric meshes and mapping regional myofiber architecture to them; modeling electrical activation patterns based on cellular alterations in human heart failure, and estimating regional tissue conductivities based on clinically available electrocardiographic recordings; estimating unloaded ventricular reference geometry and material properties for biomechanical simulations; and parameterizing systemic models of circulatory dynamics from available hemodynamic measurements.
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