The role of blood vessels in rabbit propagation dynamics and cardiac arrhythmias
Gibb M., Bishop M., Burton R., Kohl P., Grau V., Plank G., Rodriguez B.
Recent experimental findings have suggested the important role played by blood vessels within the heart in stabilising arrhythmias. However, this link has yet to be explored computationally. In this paper, we develop a computational framework to model fibre orientation around structural inhomogeneities in myocardial tissue based on information obtained from high-resolution histological and MRI images. This framework allows the simulation of cardiac wavefront propagation for a generalised vessel orientation and position within the ventricular wall and transmural fibre architecture around it. We simulate propagation following different stimulation protocols around a transmural and a sub-epicardial vessel, using both bidomain and monodomain representations. We demonstrate the importance of accurately modelling the fibre structure around blood vessels relative to a simplistic transmurally varying fibre orientation model and suggest how this may impact pro-arrhythmic electrical dynamics. © 2009 Springer Berlin Heidelberg.