Comparison of Changes in Effective Electrical Size with Activation Rate between Small Mammalian and Human Ventricular Models

  • Yolanda Hill
  • Gernot Plank
  • Nicolas Smith
  • Martin Bishop
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7945)


Effective electrical size (ratio of ventricular size to electrical activation wavelength) plays a significant role in governing reentrant arrhythmia dynamics. Due to similarities in effective size with the human, the rabbit has been suggested as the most useful experimental model for clinical investigations of fibrillatory arrhythmias. However, how well the effective size of the rabbit, or other small mammalians, correlates to the human during slower pacing rates (such as those often seen during anatomical scar-related reentrant arrhythmias), and importantly how it varies with frequency, is currently not well understood. We used computational ionic ventricular cell models of human, rabbit, rat and guinea pig to investigate interspecies differences in action potential duration, conduction velocity and activation wavelength restitution, and how these combine together to induce important rate-dependant variations in effective size. We conclude that the rabbit model has a closer effective electrical size to the human across a range of activation rates, although differences in effective size dynamics are seen at high frequencies. This suggests potentially important differences in the initiation and anchoring of reentrant waves around anatomical structures, highlighting the need for further investigation of the utility of such models for informing clinical scar-related arrhythmia knowledge.


Conduction Velocity Human Model Spiral Wave Maximum Gradient Restitution Curve 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Lim, Z., Maskara, B., Aguel, F., Emokpae, R.: Spiral wave attachment to millimeter-sized obstacles. Circulation 114, 2113–2121 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lou, Q., Efimov, I.: The role of dynamic instability and wavelength in arrhythmia maintenance as revealed by panoramic imaging with blebbistatin vs. 2,3-butanedione monoxime. AJP Heart Circ. Phys. 302, 262–269 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bishop, M., Plank, G.: The role of fine-scale anatomical structure in the dynamics of reentry in computational models of the rabbit ventricles. J. Physiol. 590, 4515–4535 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ripplinger, C., Lou, Q., Efimov, I.: Panoramic imaging reveals basic mechanisms of induction and termination of ventricular tachycardia in rabbit heart with chronic infarction: implications for low-voltage cardioversion. Heart Rhy. 6, 87–97 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Panfilov, A.: Is heart size a factor in ventricular fibrillation? or how close are rabbit and human hearts? Heart Rhythm 3, 862–864 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    ten Tusscher, K., Panfilov, A.: Alternans and spiral breakup in a human ventricular tissue model. AJP Heart and Circ. Phys. 291, 1088–1100 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Mahajan, A., Shiferaw, Y., Sato, D., Baher, A., Olcese, R., Xie, L., Yang, M., Chen, P., Restrepo, J., Karma, A., Garfinkel, A., Qu, Z., Weiss, J.: A rabbit ventricular action potential model replicating cardiac dynamics at rapid heart rates. Biophys. J. 94, 392–410 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Luo, C., Rudy, Y.: A dynamic model of the cardiac ventricular action potential i. simulations of ionic currents and concentration changes. Circ. Res. 74, 1071–1096 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pandit, S., Clark, R., Giles, W., Demir, S.: A mathematical model of action potential heterogeneity in adult rat left ventricular myocytes. Biophys. J. 81, 3029–3051 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Vigmond, E., Hughes, M., Plank, G., Leon, L.: Computational tools for modeling electrical activity in cardiac tissue. J. Electrocardiol. 36, 69–74 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Clerc, L.: Directional differences of impulse spread in trabecular muscle from mammalian heart. J. Physiol. 255, 335–346 (1976)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shigematsu, S., Kiyosue, T., Sato, T., Arita, M.: Rate-dependent prolongation of action potential duration in isolated rat ventricular myocytes. Basic. Res. Cardiol. 92, 123–128 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Benoist, D., Stones, R., Drinkhill, M., Benson, A., Yang, Z., Cassan, C., Gilbert, S., Saint, D., Cazorla, O., Steele, D., Bernus, O., White, E.: Cardiac arrhythmia mechanisms in rats with heart failure induced by pulmonary hypertension. AJP Heart and Circ. Phys. 302, 2381–2395 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yolanda Hill
    • 1
  • Gernot Plank
    • 2
  • Nicolas Smith
    • 1
  • Martin Bishop
    • 1
  1. 1.Deptartment of Biomedical Engineering, Division of Imaging SciencesKing’s College LondonUK
  2. 2.Institute of BiophysicsMedical University GrazAustria

Personalised recommendations