Image-based computational modeling is becoming an increasingly used clinical tool to provide insight into the mechanisms of reentrant arrhythmias. In the context of ischemic heart disease, faithful representation of the electrophysiological properties of the infarct region within models is essential, due to the scars known for arrhythmic properties. Here, we review the different computational representations of the infarcted region, summarizing the experimental measurements upon which they are based. We then focus on the two most common representations of the scar core (complete insulator or electrically passive tissue) and perform simulations of electrical propagation around idealized infarct geometries. Our simulations highlight significant differences in action potential duration and focal effective refractory period (ERP) around the scar, driven by differences in electrotonic loading, depending on the choice of scar representation. Finally, a novel mechanism for arrhythmia induction, following a focal ectopic beat, is demonstrated, which relies on localized gradients in ERP directly caused by the electrotonic sink effects of the neighboring passive scar.
- computational modeling