Personalized cardiac computational models: From clinical data to simulation of infarct-related ventricular tachycardia

Alejandro Lopez-Perez*, Rafael Sebastian, M. Izquierdo, Ricardo Ruiz, Martin Bishop, Jose M. Ferrero

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


In the chronic stage of myocardial infarction, a significant number of patients develop life-threatening ventricular tachycardias (VT) due to the arrhythmogenic nature of the remodeled myocardium. Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a common procedure to isolate reentry pathways across the infarct scar that are responsible for VT. Unfortunately, this strategy show relatively low success rates; up to 50% of patients experience recurrent VT after the procedure. In the last decade, intensive research in the field of computational cardiac electrophysiology (EP) has demonstrated the ability of three-dimensional (3D) cardiac computational models to perform in-silico EP studies. However, the personalization and modeling of certain key components remain challenging, particularly in the case of the infarct border zone (BZ). In this study, we used a clinical dataset from a patient with a history of infarct-related VT to build an image-based 3D ventricular model aimed at computational simulation of cardiac EP, including detailed patient-specific cardiac anatomy and infarct scar geometry. We modeled the BZ in eight different ways by combining the presence or absence of electrical remodeling with four different levels of image-based patchy fibrosis (0, 10, 20, and 30%). A 3D torso model was also constructed to compute the ECG. Patient-specific sinus activation patterns were simulated and validated against the patient's ECG. Subsequently, the pacing protocol used to induce reentrant VTs in the EP laboratory was reproduced in-silico. The clinical VT was induced with different versions of the model and from different pacing points, thus identifying the slow conducting channel responsible for such VT. Finally, the real patient's ECG recorded during VT episodes was used to validate our simulation results and to assess different strategies to model the BZ. Our study showed that reduced conduction velocities and heterogeneity in action potential duration in the BZ are the main factors in promoting reentrant activity. Either electrical remodeling or fibrosis in a degree of at least 30% in the BZ were required to initiate VT. Moreover, this proof-of-concept study confirms the feasibility of developing 3D computational models for cardiac EP able to reproduce cardiac activation in sinus rhythm and during VT, using exclusively non-invasive clinical data.

Original languageEnglish
Article number580
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Border zone (BZ)
  • Computational simulation
  • Electrical remodeling (ER)
  • Fibrosis
  • Myocardial infarction (MI)
  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
  • Slow conducting channel (SCC)
  • Ventricular tachycardia (VT)


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