General news

Electrophysiological models for clinical prediction.

The immediate cause of death, for the majority of people, is a cardiac arrest that is due to a disturbance in the electrical activation of the heart resulting in the cessation of effective cardiac contractions--a 'malignant arrhythmia'.

This dramatic event is the endpoint of a bewildering variety of pathological processes that ultimately affect the physiological mechanisms concerning ion concentrations near heart cell membranes.

Improving prediction of such events and identifying therapies to prevent or delay them is an intensely pursued research objective. It resulted in numerous advances in understanding the many facets of the electrical activity of the myocardium, from the molecular level to gross electrocardiography and clinical correlates.

A variety of models have been proposed, that explain, quantitatively, the links between various related results--such as ion channel densities and the shape of the action potential.

In this project we aim to develop populational models that explore the relationship between the prevalence of electrocardiographic features, incidence of arrhythmic events and cell, tissue and organ-level phenomena. While an exhaustive representation of the heart electrophysiology is not yet feasible and may not be for a couple of decades, we feel that in specific and well selected problems the time of a clinically applicable integreated approach may have already come.

Endocardial activation isochrones.

Simulated endocardial activation isochrones.