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Front. Phys. | doi: 10.3389/fphy.2018.00015

Cardiac re-entry dynamics and self-termination in DT-MRI based model of Human Foetal Heart

  • 1University of Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • 2University of Exeter, United Kingdom
  • 3University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • 4University of Leeds, United Kingdom

The effect of human foetal heart geometry and anisotropy on anatomy induced drift and self-termination of cardiac re-entry is studied here in MRI based 2D slice and 3D whole heart computer simulations. Isotropic and anisotropic models of 20 weeks of gestational age human foetal heart obtained from 100μm voxel diffusion tensor MRI data sets were used in the computer simulations. The fiber orientation angles of the heart were obtained from the orientation of the DT-MRI primary eigenvectors. In a spatially homogeneous electrophysiological monodomain model with the DT-MRI based heart geometries, cardiac re-entry was initiated at a prescribed location in a 2D slice, and in the 3D whole heart anatomy models. Excitation was described by simplified FitzHugh-Nagumo kinetics. In a slice of the heart, with propagation velocity twice as fast along the fibres than across the fibers, DT-MRI based fiber anisotropy changes the re-entry dynamics from pinned to an anatomical re-entry. In the 3D whole heart models, the fiber anisotropy changes cardiac re-entry dynamics from a persistent re-entry to the re-entry self-termination. The self-termination time depends on the re-entry’s initial position. In all the simulations with the DT-MRI based cardiac geometry, the anisotropy of the myocardial tissue shortens the time to re-entry self-termination several folds. The numerical simulations depend on the validity of the DT-MRI data set used. The ventricular wall showed the characteristic transmural rotation of the helix angle of the developed mammalian heart, while the fiber orientation in the atria was irregular.

Keywords: cardiac arrhythmias, anatomically realistic modeling, Anisotropy, anatomy induced drift, FitzHugh-Nagumo model

Received: 03 Nov 2017; Accepted: 08 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

S Sridhar, Robert Bosch Centre for Cyber- Physical Systems, Indian Institute of Science, India

Reviewed by:

Silvia Capuani, Consiglio Nazionale Delle Ricerche (CNR), Italy
Rupamanjari Majumder, Leiden University Medical Center, Netherlands  

Copyright: © 2018 Biktasheva, Anderson, Holden, Pervolaraki and Wen. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Irina V. Biktasheva, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom,